President Obama’s offer in Berlin Wednesday for sweeping further cuts to the U.S. and Russian deployed nuclear weapons arsenals has raised many questions, including one that has House Republicans and the Kremlin in rare agreement on one point at least – what about China?Under the 2010 New START treaty, the U.S. and Russia agreed to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 by 2018, down from the current 2,200. Obama’s proposal of a further one-third cut would take them to around 1,000.Yury Ushakov, senior foreign policy advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in Moscow that for the proposal to work, other nuclear-capable countries would have to be involved.“The situation now is not like in the 1960s and 1970s, when only the United States and the Soviet Union held talks on reducing nuclear arms,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. “Now we need to look more broadly and expand the circle of participants in possible contacts on this matter.”
Ushakov did not elaborate, but experts say China is the only one of the original five nuclear powers – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France – that is expanding its warhead stockpile.
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