WASHINGTON — The United States and Russia have reached an “agreement in principle” to extend a 2010 nuclear arms reduction treaty which expires in just four months, according to a report Tuesday.
Quoting a “US envoy,” Agence France-Presse reported that Moscow and Washington had agreed to a tentative deal to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) which is due to expire in February 2021.
The deal, brokered by President Obama, limits the United States and Russia each to no more than 800 deployed and non-deployed strategic missiles.
As first reported by Axios on Sunday, President Trump is eager to extend the agreement with Russian leader Vladimir Putin ahead of the US presidential election on Nov. 3.
The Trump administration reportedly wants to include a provision that would require both sides to agree to freeze their nuclear warhead stockpiles.
A second report from AFP on Tuesday evening countered their original reporting and said that Russian officials believed that freezing nuclear arsenal would be “unacceptable” — indicating a deal had not been reached.
The United States also wants Russia to agree to include China in the treaty, something Moscow is reportedly unwilling to do.
US allies are reportedly concerned about New START expiring without a deal, leaving no effective treaty to prevent the threat of an arms race, according to a report from Foreign Policy.