US calls for transparency from China, Russia in nuclear programmes

US calls for transparency from China, Russia in nuclear programmes

Agency News

Beijing, Jan 30: The United States has called for more transparency from Russia and China regarding their nuclear programs, as diplomats from five major nuclear powers meet in Beijing.

The two-day meeting that opened on January 30 is aimed at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, Russian media said in a report. Aside from Beijing, Moscow, and Washington, diplomats from London and France are also participating.

US Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson said in opening remarks at the meeting that there were "uneven results" in efforts to increase transparency under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

"We previously agreed to set [a] format for reporting, but the gap between the reports of the United States on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other, is great," Thompson said.

The meeting comes as a major Cold War arms control treaty is on the verge of collapse.

The United States has accused Russia of deploying a missile in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and has given Moscow until February 2 to satisfy Washington's demands.

U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw from the treaty, known as the INF, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened a new arms race.

Earlier this month, talks in Geneva between senior diplomats ended without result.

"Many issues continue to be unsettled due to the lack of political will," Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

The nonproliferation regime "is being loosened, which is fraught with serious and negative impacts for nuclear nonproliferation," he said.

Ryabkov and Thompson are expected to meet during the Beijing talks for discussions on the INF impasse. (UNI)