Washington seeks special envoy for nuclear talks with Russia
Last updated on February 17th, 2020 at 12:19 pm
The US administration wants to appoint a special envoy to negotiate with Moscow on arms control.
The main area of activity of such a negotiator should be a dialogue with the Russian Federation, but US President Donald Trump may insist that he also engage in involving China in this process.While the US administration has not selected a candidate for such a position, searches have been going on since the end of last year. Potential bidders included the former head of the US delegation to negotiate with the USSR on the Strategic Arms Reduction and Reduction Treaty (START-I), Richard Burt, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Marshall Billingsley and Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President US National Security Under George W. Bush. One source told the newspaper that a list of possible candidates was sent to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo a few weeks ago.
The State Department and the National Security Council of the White House have not yet commented on this information.
The search for a special envoy for arms control negotiations may delay the decision on the fate of the Russian-American Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START, or START III). “I was told that there was no work in this direction until they appointed a senior negotiator,” a former Pentagon official told the publication. The newspaper also notes that, in the opinion of many, including analysts and assistants to US lawmakers, Washington has no serious plans on how to interact with the Russian Federation or China in such negotiations, and the US administration “seems paralyzed” in this matter.
Last week, Assistant President of the United States for National Security Robert O’Brien said Washington would soon begin negotiations with Moscow on arms control and nuclear issues. Then he also noted that the US administration proceeds from the fact that the question of a possible extension or replacement of START is open.
Moscow calls on Washington not to delay the issue of the possibility of extending the treaty and characterizes it as the gold standard in the field of disarmament. Trump assured that the United States would like to conclude a new arms control agreement with Russia, China and, possibly, several other countries. To the additional question of whether the United States would like to extend the START, the head of the White House did not answer.
On Tuesday, O’Brien, speaking to the Washington Atlantic Council, admitted that China is currently not showing interest in joining arms control negotiations.
In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Moscow did not intend to try to force Beijing to engage in an arms control dialogue with Washington. See more News of America Today .