US, Russia Face Deadline for Nuclear Arsenal Reduction
The United States believes that Russia will honor its commitments under the bilateral Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by the Monday deadline.
“The United States has met the central limits of the New Start treaty in August 2017. We assess at this time that Russia has also progressed toward meeting those limits. We have no reason to believe that the Russian government will not meet those limits as well," U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
The State Department said in a release late Sunday that both countries will exchange data on their respective nuclear arsenals "within the next month, as we have done twice per year over the last seven years in accordance with the Treaty."
The New START Treaty was signed in Prague on April 8, 2010 and came into force on February 5, 2011.
It limits the U.S. and Russia to no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads and also limits deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Four Powerful Countries Plan Resistance To China in a Disputed Asian Sea
A bloc of four powerful, Western-allied nations, intent on keeping the South China Sea open for international use despite growing Chinese control, will probably issue stern statements, help China’s maritime rivals and hold joint naval exercises near the contested waterway this year, analysts say.
Australia, India, Japan and the United States, a group known as the quad, are most likely to take those measures rather than directly challenging Chinese claims such as its military installations among the sea’s 500 small islets.
The quad countries want to keep the 3.5 million-square-kilometer, resource-rich sea open while protecting their own economic ties with Beijing.