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Russia touts Britain, France for wider nuclear talks

·1-min read
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov before a meeting in Geneva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday that it wanted Britain and France to be included in wider nuclear arms control talks with the United States, while it said that Washington wanted China to be included.

Senior U.S. and Russian officials met in Geneva on Wednesday to restart talks to ease tensions between the world's largest nuclear weapons powers with ties at post-Cold War lows.

Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said it was inevitable the powers would eventually have to discuss broadening the arms control talks to include more powers and that Moscow saw Britain and France as priorities in that regard.

"This question has taken on particular relevance in light of London's recent decision to increase the maximum level of nuclear warheads by 40% - to 260 units," Antonov said in comments published by the foreign ministry on Thursday.

In separate comments, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the United States wanted China to be included in wider talks on nuclear arms control, the Interfax news agency reported.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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