Russia's Putin says world has no future without arms control system

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council, via a video conference call in Sochi, Russia September 28, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the world would have no future without a system of arms control, with the future of a nuclear weapons pact between Russia and the United States hanging in the balance.

Washington last week rejected a Russian proposal for an unconditional one-year extension of the last treaty limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons deployments, calling the suggestion “a non-starter”.

Speaking via video link at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin said Russia’s security would not suffer if the treaty was not extended.

The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord, signed in 2010 and due to expire in February, restricts how many strategic nuclear warheads Russia and the United States can deploy as well as the missiles and bombers that carry them.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Catherine Evans