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Russia: Chances of extending New START treaty 'minimal'

Russia: Chances of extending New START treaty 'minimal'
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The chances of a new arms treaty with Russia look slim as Russian negotiators appear to be unwilling to accept the Trump administration's terms for a new deal.

Reuters reported Monday that a Russian news agency quoted deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that the chances of extending the START treaty, which eliminated strategic nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, was “minimal."

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea added in an interview with a Russian newspaper that the U.S. demands would only go higher should President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE win reelection in November.

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“I suspect that after President Trump wins re-election, if Russia has not taken up our offer, that the price of admission, as we would say in the U.S., goes up,” Billingslea reportedly said.

Ryabkov was quoted in another Russian news agency calling those comments unhelpful for reaching a deal.

“We cannot talk in this manner,” he said.

Ryabkov also disagreed with Billingslea's assertion that an extension of START would have to include Chinese negotiators for a possible three-way deal, a quote Ryabkov called a "distortion" of Russia's position.

“We have not taken and do not intend to take any steps to bring China into these talks, something we have told our American colleagues on multiple occasions,” he said.

The comments from both sides indicate an unlikely path for a new START treaty in the waning months of the president's first term and as he has sought to head into November with newfound evidence of his administration's success on the foreign policy front.

The president recently hosted leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House for a historic signing ceremony signifying the normalization of diplomatic relations between the three countries, a development praised by some of the president's most frequent critics.