White House Rejects Putin Proposal to Extend Arms-Control Pact

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Friday that the U.S. and Russia extend the New START arms-control treaty for at least a year to give the two sides time to negotiate a follow-on agreement.

But the Trump administration quickly rejected the offer as a non-starter unless Russia also agreed to a freeze on the number of nuclear warheads held on each side.

“We hope that Russia will re-evaluate its position before a costly arms race ensues,” National Security Council Adviser Robert O’Brien wrote in a tweet.

The unusually public discussion of proposals generally discussed behind closed doors came as the White House is pushing Moscow to conclude an arms-control agreement before the Nov. 3 election.

The New START treaty, which cuts long-range nuclear arms, is due to expire in early February. It is the last remaining major arms control treaty between the two countries following the demise of the 1987 accord on intermediate-range nuclear forces.

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