Saying the expiration of the New START nuclear arms agreement with the U.S. in February would be “very sad,” Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed extending it for a year without conditions.
“For all these years the treaty has worked well, fulfilled its role as a limit on the arms race,” Putin told a televised meeting of his Security Council on Friday. “I have a proposal, specifically, to extend the treaty without any conditions for at least a year.”
The U.S. has insisted on broadening the terms of the 2010 treaty but hasn’t been able to win Russia’s support. Earlier this month, a senior U.S. official said the outlines of a deal had been reached, but Russian officials quickly said there was no agreement. Russia had earlier called for a five-year extension, as provided in the accord.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Putin Friday that “intensive” consultations on the treaty are underway.