U.S. and Russia Close to Agreement on Nuclear Weapons Treaty – Foreign Policy

By Colm Quinn

Here is today’s Foreign Policy brief: The United States and Russia edge closer to a deal on extending nuclear arms treaty, authorities fire at protesters in Nigeria, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to meet with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in an attempt to mediate the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

We welcome your feedback at morningbrief@foreignpolicy.com.

U.S. and Russia Appear to Reach Common Ground on New START

At the end of a term that has seen the United States withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, and the World Health Organization, the Trump administration is about to finalize a deal that would extend an Obama-era treaty on nuclear weapons, potentially notching a foreign policy win ahead of November’s presidential election.

After a summer of halting negotiations to extend New START, a U.S.-Russian treaty limiting each country’s nuclear arsenals that is due to expire in February, the U.S. State Department on Tuesday appeared to signal a resolution was imminent. “The United States is prepared to meet immediately to finalize a verifiable agreement. We expect Russia to empower its diplomats to do the same,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

On the table is a one-year extension to the nuclear treaty and a freeze on the number of nuclear warheads, which should provide breathing room for a longer-term solution, and perhaps give time to entice China to join any future agreement.

Sticking points. As Foreign Policy’s Jack Detsch and