Russia dashed hopes of a deal on nuclear weapons with U.S. President Donald Trump before next month’s presidential election, dismissing a call by Washington for a freeze on their arsenals as “unacceptable.”
“If the Americans need to report to their superiors that they allegedly reached agreement with Russia before their elections, they won’t get it,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said late Tuesday in comments to local media that he confirmed Wednesday to Bloomberg News.
The U.S. proposal for a nuclear freeze that also covers tactical weapons “has long been known to us” and is rejected by Russia because “we need to deal with their new strategic-range” conventional arms too, including in space and missile defense, said Ryabkov, who leads the Russian negotiating team.
He was responding a day after U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said there was an agreement in principle for a deal between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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