“We have a hope that our diplomats and American diplomats will be able to talk.

Let's hope that they still reach an agreement that the contract will be extended for one year, "he said in an interview with the Big Game program on Channel One.

According to a Kremlin spokesman, very difficult negotiations are coming up this year to try to overcome the "monstrous differences."

He stressed that this is the hope not that the agreement will continue to live, but that the parties "will be able to try to discuss its further viability."

Earlier, the US leader's special envoy for arms control Marshall Billingsley said that the United States and Russia are very close to reaching an agreement on the extension of the START treaty.