Russia is open to possible new arms control deals with US

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said Russia is ready to hold talks on new arms controls. (AFP/File)
Updated 28 April 2019

Russia is open to possible new arms control deals with US

  • Earlier reports said Trump asked his administration to push for new arms control agreements with Russia and China
  • Russian aide said the new agreements would require serious talks

MOSCOW: Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, commenting on a media report that US President Donald Trump wants a new arms control deal with Moscow and Beijing, said Russia was open to the possibility of new arms control deals, but that there were no ongoing talks.
Citing administration officials, The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump has ordered his administration to prepare a push for a new arms control agreement with Russia and China due to the mounting cost of the 21st-century nuclear arms race.
Ushakov, in remarks to Russian state TV released on Sunday, said Moscow was ready to hold talks about the subject.
“Firstly, what exists already (by way of arms control agreements) needs to be honored,” said Ushakov. “We are also ready for new ones, but for that serious negotiations are needed and unfortunately so far nobody has embarked on any.”
Ushakov’s words were more upbeat than those of a Kremlin spokesman who on Saturday dismissed Trump’s proposals on nuclear arms disarmament as “not serious.”
Relations between Moscow and Washington are strained and both countries have said they are quitting the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stoking fears of a wider arms race.


Trump says Baghdadi successor in US crosshairs

Updated 34 min 56 sec ago

Trump says Baghdadi successor in US crosshairs

  • The US president used his speech in New York to claim that Daesh’s leadership was running scared in the wake of Baghdadi’s death
  • Donald Trump: Thanks to American warriors, Al-Baghdadi is dead, his second in charge is dead, we have our eyes on number three

NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump placed the Daesh group’s new chief in the crosshairs Monday as he marked Veterans’ Day by celebrating the killing of the extremists’ former leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

While US presidents traditionally mark the day by laying a wreath at a vast military cemetery in Arlington, near Washington, Trump traveled to New York where he made an address ahead of the city’s annual parade of veterans.

Trump was widely criticized after announcing a full withdrawal of US troops from Syria last month, with opponents and even some allies saying it could allow Daesh to rebuild as well as leaving US-allied Kurdish fighters vulnerable to a Turkish invasion.

But the US president used his speech in New York to claim that Daesh’s leadership was running scared in the wake of Baghdadi’s death in a raid in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib on October 26.

“Just a few weeks ago, American special forces raided the Daesh compound and brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” he said.

“Thanks to American warriors, Al-Baghdadi is dead, his second in charge is dead, we have our eyes on number three.

“His reign of terror is over, and we have our enemies running very, very scared. Those who threaten our people don’t stand a chance against the righteous might of the American military.”

After the death of Baghdadi and Daesh’s main spokesman, Abu Hassan Al-MuHajjir, in a raid the following day, the organization named the little known Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi as its new leader.

Following the uproar over his announcement of a full troop withdrawal, Trump said that he would leave some troops in the region to protect valuable oil fields.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview at the weekend that US troop levels in northern Syria would probably stabilize at around 500.