Antonov: Russia Won’t Force China to Join Nuclear Arms Talks

Russia will not pressure China into acceding to the Russian-US nuclear arms reduction treaty (New START), Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said Saturday in an open interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman, commenting on Washington’s calls to get Beijing to the negotiating table.

“Regarding <…> China, our position is simple and clear – China should itself decide whether these talks are beneficial for the country. We will not force our Chinese friends. We will not push [them] towards the decision needed for Americans,” he said.

At the same time, the diplomat noted that Russia generally does not stand against multilateral consultations on strategic stability. “Earlier, we spoke about the fact that possible potential of further nuclear arsenal cuts by Russia and the US exhausted itself,” Antonov stressed. “It is important that NATO nuclear powers are at the negotiating table – France and the United Kingdom. It is a point of principle for us. NATO is at the Russian borders. North Atlantic Alliance members are boasting the nuclear status of its bloc.”

The ambassador also recalled that China at the high level has repeatedly reaffirmed lack of intention to join the talks between Moscow and Washington. “We respect this position,” Antonov added.

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