Russia on Monday warned the US that unless it stopped giving “ultimatums” on the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Moscow would back out of the agreement altogether.

The demands made by the US representatives — including the necessity to bring China to negotiating table — contradict Russia’s vision of what needs to be done in the interests of strengthening strategic stability, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow.

“The choice is now for the US. The ball is on the American side completely. Either they will give up their ultimatums and then we can start negotiating something, or there will be no agreement at all,” Ryabkov said.

START, the last remaining arms control agreement between Washington and Moscow, is set to expire on Feb. 5, 2021.

The pact places curbs on Washington and Moscow’s nuclear arms stockpiles, mandating a cap of 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed intercontinental missiles, as well as putting limits on the number of launchers and deployed missiles each country is to have.

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