Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said in an interview with Russian state TV, broadcast on Sunday, that “serious negotiations” were also needed for any new arms deals, Presstv Reported.
“Firstly, what exists already (by way of arms control agreements) needs to be honored,” Ushakov said, adding, “We are also ready for new ones, but for that, serious negotiations are needed, and unfortunately so far, nobody has embarked on any.”
The Russian presidential aide was speaking after The Washington Postreported on Thursday that Trump had ordered his administration to prepare a push for a trilateral arms deal involving both China and Russia. According to unnamed administration officials, the initiative is “still in its earliest stages.”
The CNN reported a day later that the White House was conducting intense inter-agency talks to develop options for Trump for “a grand nuclear deal” with the two Eastern powerhouses.
Trump has already started a process of withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms treaty with Russia, namely the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered reciprocation.
On Friday, Trump also announced that he would be pulling the US out of a global treaty that sets global standards for regulating transfers of conventional arms. That agreement, known as the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2013, but has been opposed by the American National Rifle Association (NRA) and other conservative pro-gun groups.
Trump has formerly threatened that if no deal is reached with Russia and China, the US would “outspend and out-innovate all others by far.”
The Washington Post report said, however, that the American president ordered the internal deliberations for a new deal with the two countries “after bristling at the cost of a 21st-century nuclear arms race.”
Apart from the US’s unilateral pullout from the INF, matters such as the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria, and the allegations of Russian interference in the US presidential poll in 2016 have kept relations between Washington and Moscow tense.
The US is also involved in a trade standoff with China.