Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia has offered not to increase its number of nuclear warheads if the United States agrees to do the same, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

It said the US has not formally responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to extend the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which is set to expire in four months.

“Russia proposes to extend the START Treaty by one year and is ready to make a political commitment together with the United States to freeze the number of nuclear warheads held by the parties for this period,” the statement said.

It said that if the US accepts this deal, then negotiations to further extend the New START treaty could proceed.

New START is the last remaining nuclear arms reductions treaty between the US and Russia.

US officials have argued that such bilateral treaties have been made obsolete by the rise of other nuclear-weapon states, particularly China.

The US initiated last year’s withdrawal from the bilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on the allegation that Russia violated it by developing a missile capable of travelling within the banned range.

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