Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is holding negotiations with Washington regarding a pivotal nuclear arms pact. Putin said the U.S. plans to re-equip some of the nuclear capable aircraft and submarines to carry conventional weapons has drawn Russian concerns. He noted Thursday that while the U.S. plans don’t contradict the 2010 U.S.-Russian New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Moscow is entitled to monitor the modifications to make sure there is no chance for a rollback to nuclear capability in the future.
Speaking at a meeting with Russian newspaper editors, Putin said “a dialogue is going on, and I hope it will be positive.” The New START allows U.S. and Russia to have no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads each. It expires in 2021, but can be extended.