On June 8th US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingsleax posted on twitter that the US and Russia had agreed “on time and place for nuclear arms negotiations in June”. The meeting will occur in Vienna. The statement also extended an invitation to China but Chinese officials rejected the offer to participate in the discussion in various occasions.
Previously, the current US government has repeatedly voiced in public their desires to create a trilateral nuclear agreement with China and Russia as the New START treaty is set to expire in February 2021.
The New START treaty was a bilateral agreement signed between the US and Russia in 2010 with the purpose of reducing and restricting the usage of nuclear power. Now that the US has new plans to potentially commence nuclear testing and is actively trying to create a partnership that ensures their goals. This has raised concerns in the international community.
The Russian government’s intent is to continue with the conditions that have already been dictated in the New START treaty. In a statement released by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 4th, they showed their firm position in agreeance with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and said “all responsible states are called upon to reiterate their strong support for the CTBT, and to take concrete action to secure its prompt entry into force.”
“We really do hope that Washington will heed the opinions of people who have made a significant personal contribution to the establishment of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and have contributed to the strengthening of international peace and security”, was said in the same statement.
Despite US’ insistence, China does not wish to be involved in this meeting. In a press release done by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 9th, they stated “China has repeatedly reiterated that it has no intention of participating in the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations with the United States and Russia. This position is very clear.”