Putin says Russia prepared to drop START nuclear arms treaty

SpaceDaily.com reports: “President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Russia was prepared to drop a nuclear weapons treaty with the US and warned of ‘global catastrophe’ if Washington keeps dismantling an international arms control regime.

Speaking to heads of international news agencies at an economic forum in the city of Saint Petersburg, Putin said Washington showed no genuine interest in conducting talks on extending the New START treaty which caps the number of nuclear warheads well below Cold War limits.

‘If no-one feels like extending the agreement — New START — well, we won’t do it then,’ Putin said.

‘We have said a hundred times that we are ready (to extend it),’ Putin said. ‘There is no formal negotiating process.’

The treaty was signed by US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in 2010. It expires in 2021.

Together with another agreement known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, New START is considered a centrepiece of superpower arms control…”

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