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China still refuses to join Russia and US on arms control talks next week

MOSCOW, (BM) – Special Representative of the US President for Arms Control Marshall Billingsley will hold talks in Austria on June 22-23 with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on arms control, an invitation was sent to China to participate in them, learned BulgarianMilitarty.com citing a statement issued on Friday by the State Department press service.

Read more: Trump and Putin discuss arms control in a telephone conversation

“Billingsley will travel to Austria June 22-23 to discuss mutually agreed topics regarding future arms control at a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. The United States has issued an open invitation to the People’s Republic of China to join these discussions and clearly stated the need for so that all three countries conduct good faith arms control negotiations,” the statement said.

Earlier, Ryabkov admitted that the mention on the American side of the possible arrival of representatives of Beijing at the Vienna meeting was surprising for Moscow.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said June 9 that China has no plans to participate in any trilateral arms control negotiations with Russia and the United States. On Wednesday, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that attempts by the US authorities to attract China to these talks are absurd, as Washington is constantly striving to violate its obligations under an existing agreement.

According to Bloomberg, Washington does not rule out that the negotiations will discuss the possibility of extending the Russian-American Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms. On May 8, Ryabkov and Billingsley had a telephone conversation.

Read more: US wants to invite China to arms control talks

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