US, Russia to discuss new arms control treaty at Geneva meet on Wednesday; may include China

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Washington DC, July 16: Senior representatives from both Russia and the United States are slated to hold a meeting on Wednesday in Geneva to pave ways for a fresh concept of a new treaty that would limit nuclear arms, likely to include China, top-level US officials said on Monday.

According to Reuters news reports, US President Donald Trump has stated he would like to have a “next generation” arms control pact with China and Russia in order to tackle all kinds of nuclear weapons. He put forth this matter individually with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently on the sidelines of the G20 summit held last month in Osaka, Japan.

China was not a member of nuclear arms deals between Moscow and Washington and it was also unclear would Beijing be willing to be drawn into negotiations, according to the officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“A good meeting would be some greater clarity about where the Russians see things going with the Chinese,” one official said.

John Sullivan, US deputy secretary of state, is expected to head a team of the American delegation, that will be accompanied by Tim Morrison, a top White House national security council aide, and some representatives from the Pentagon, the national security agency, and the joint chiefs of staff, the officials said.

Deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov is expected to lead a team of a Russian delegation, according to the official.

“We actually feel that – touch wood – we’ve actually got to a point where we can try to start this again,” one U.S. official said.

“I say touch wood because we’re always just one incident away from unfortunately things getting derailed,” the official said.

The Geneva meeting is scheduled to take place a couple of days before Washington withdraws from the landmark 2015 International Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that needed both nations to deduct short-range, conventional, and intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

The official said there would be no breakthrough over the INF pact and that they are also not planning to discuss the revival of the 2011 New START pact, a Russian-US arms control treaty that limited deployed disputed nuclear weapons.

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