NATO considers that the time is ripe for China to participate in global arms control arrangements alongside the United States and Russia, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said at the Hudson Institute on Friday.

“You cannot ask for global status without also assuming responsibilities for world order. This is why we believe that it is high time for China to participate in arms control alongside with Russia and the United States", Geoana said. "It might happen today or tomorrow, but this is an indispensable part for the world to stay in peace. We need to encourage China to embark on this kind of global arrangements".

Earlier in the day, United States Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that the Trump administration is preparing to begin talks with Russia about the next level of arms control agreements.

On 5 February, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said the United States and Russia will launch talks on nuclear arms control issues in the near future. 

Last December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated that Russia wants to extend the New START as soon as possible, but without preconditions.

The New START is the last remaining arms control treaty in force between Russia and the United States and is set to expire in February 2021. The Trump administration has said it has a sufficient amount of time to determine whether it will extend the treaty or let it expire next February.