Chris Lange, FISM News
The U.S. will reportedly extend an offer to Russia today to continue nuclear arms curbs for two more years if Russia does the same.
U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan will pitch the proposal during a speech to the Arms Control Association, Reuters reported, citing two administration officials. The offer would require Washington and Moscow to abide by the nuclear weapons limits in the New START treaty until its original 2026 expiration date or replace the pact with a new one. The proposal also includes a resumption of unconditional nuclear talks between Washington and Moscow.
“When political relations are at a low, when tensions are high, we find that arms control and nuclear risk reduction to be most important and we would argue that we find ourselves in that moment today,” one official told the news service on condition of anonymity.
Sullivan will also reiterate that the U.S. is ready to enter into a risk reduction dialogue with China, which is expanding its nuclear arsenal at a rate that the Pentagon said will likely more than triple by 2035. Beijing has so far rejected the outstanding offer.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in February suspended New START — the last remaining treaty limiting U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arms — over Washington’s support for Ukraine. The U.S. government said the move was “irresponsible and unlawful.”
RUSSIA: TWO KILLED BY UKRAINIAN SHELLING
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border said Friday that two people were killed and two others were wounded by Ukrainian shelling.
Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said that shell fragments struck cars traveling on a road in the town of Maslova Pristan, located less than 10 miles from Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region.
“Two women were traveling in one of them. They died from their injuries on the spot,” he said.
Officials from other nearby regions reported shelling and long-range drone attacks overnight that damaged buildings and homes and forced evacuations in some areas.
Russian officials have reported intensifying attacks from northern Ukraine over the past several days. The Belgorod region was the target of three cross-border attacks on Thursday, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, which added that Russian forces repelled the assaults.
UKRAINE SAYS IT SHOT DOWN 36 DRONES AND MISSILES FIRED BY RUSSIA
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv said that its defenses shot down 36 drones and missiles in another wave of Russian attacks targeting the capital. Kyiv officials said that two people were injured by falling debris.
Air raid sirens rang out as people slept Thursday. Ukraine’s Air Force released a statement early on Friday that its air defenses shot down 15 cruise missiles and 21 drones.
“The occupiers are not stopping their attempts to terrorize the Ukrainian capital with strike drones and missiles,” it said, per Reuters.
Ukraine’s government said that some 20 missile and drone attacks on Kyiv that have occurred since the beginning of May are likely an attempt by Russia to impede Ukraine’s preparations for a major counteroffensive.