Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian legislature’s Committee on International Affairs, said Mr Putin’s proposal would remove pressure for an agreement before the agreement expires and separate arms talks from pre-election policies in the United States.
The Trump administration has avoided accepting a five-year extension without revisions, an option that does not require Senate approval. Sir. Trump has considered it unacceptable because the treaty signed by President Obama did not cover all of Russia’s nuclear weapons or any of China’s.
However, China has refused to join any revised version of the New Start, claiming that its nuclear arsenal is small compared to the United States or Russia.
While eager to save New Start, Russia has shown little interest in giving President Trump a foreign policy victory ahead of a US presidential election now less than three weeks away, which may indicate that it expects Mr. Senior Russian officials this week mocked allegations on Tuesday by Mr Trump’s leading negotiator, Marshall Billingslea, of a “principle agreement at the highest levels in our two governments to extend the treaty.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov dismissed this as fantasy. “Washington describes what is wanted, not what is real,” Ryabkov, Russia’s chief negotiator, said in a statement.
Russia’s open mockery of the alleged deal, however, left Moscow looking churri and risking compromising Putin’s long-standing efforts to present his country as deeply committed to arms control – unlike the United States, which has walked away from a series of agreements in the past.
Sir. Putin’s proposal on Friday said Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a veteran foreign policy analyst, suggested an attempt to correct any damage to Russia’s image from this week’s dispute, more than an offer with a real chance of being accepted.