The Trump administration is running out the clock on talks with Russia over renewing New START, the last treaty limiting the nuclear weapons arsenals of both countries. Russia has proposed an unconditional extension, but the US has stalled the talks and demanded new conditions -- even issuing an ultimatum that the "price of admission" will go up after the November U.S. election.
"This is very dangerous," says Tom Collina, Director of Policy of the Ploughshares Fund. "If we don't get the treaty extended, if we let it expire, both sides could then expand their nuclear forces, make the world less safe, increase the risk of nuclear war, and potentially cause both countries to spend trillions of dollars more on expanding their nuclear arsenal."
“Unfortunately what we're seeing right now is the Trump administration is simply not serious about extending the treaty — they're playing games with it. The Trump administration is saying to Russia, ‘agree to our terms before the election so we can get a political bump out of this. And if you don't agree to our terms — which by the way are unreasonable — if you don't agree to our terms the price will go up after the election.' So it's kind of an extortion racket — it's not a serious way to conduct international negotiations.”