Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow proposed to incorporate hypersonic missiles into the START arms reduction treaty, which he said must include all nuclear powers besides Russia and the United States.
“We need to incorporate them [hypersonic ballistic missiles] into START over the next five years. Right now, some things do not fall under [the treaty],” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian business news broadcaster RBC.
The top diplomat went on to say that Moscow believes that the major nuclear powers – including the UK, France, and China – must be party to the treaty, although each side appears to have its reservations.
“If we make this process multilateral, there must be a voluntary agreement of all those whom we would like to see – first of all, the five nuclear powers,” Lavrov said.
The minister went on to say that China would have to come to the negotiation table of its own accord.
“We will never try to persuade China. We respect the position of Beijing, which either wants to catch up with us, or offers us first reduce [stockpiles] to its level, and then talk. But under all circumstances, if this is a multilateral process, then there is no way without the UK and France. The Trump administration insisted on the participation of China,” Lavrov said.
He went on to say that any future multilateral nuclear arms reductions agreements must not nullify current treaties between the US and Russia, since the two have several orders of magnitude more weapons than the rest.