By Ria Novosti
The U.S. cabinet is working intensively to increase transparency on tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in Europe and secure an agreement with Russia on the reduction of such weapons, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller has said.
“Consistent with the President’s agenda to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons, and the Senate’s call for pursuing negotiations with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons, we are working intensively throughout our government on these issues while also consulting with our NATO allies,” Gottemoeller was quoted as saying during her speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, as quoted in a statement issued on Thursday by the U.S. Department of State’s press service.
“We will be working with NATO to shape an approach to reduce the role and number of forward-based U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, as Russia takes reciprocal steps to reduce its non-strategic nuclear weapons and relocate them away from NATO’s borders,” Gottemoeller said.
When ratifying the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Moscow in December 2010, the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution obligating the government to start bilateral talks on cutting the TNW stockpiles – landmines, artillery shells and short-range missiles. Washington says Moscow has a larger number of these systems.
The United States will seek to “include non-strategic nuclear weapons in the next round of U.S.-Russian arms control discussions alongside strategic and non-deployed nuclear weapons,” Gottemoeller said.
President Barack Obama said in a message to the Senate in February his country expects to hold talks with Russia on TNW within a year after the New START arms reduction deal came into force on February 5.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in January that it is too early to discuss limiting TNW with the United States because Russia needs to see the way the U.S. fulfills its commitments under the New START.