| 26 February 2024, Monday |

US says Russia has postponed talks on New START nuclear arms treaty

A State Department spokesperson for the Biden administration said that the meeting that was supposed to begin between US and Russia in Egypt from Tuesday to discuss key nuclear arms control agreement, has been postponed, adding that Russia took the decision “unilaterally”. Discussions on the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty were to be held in Cairo from November 29 to December 6.
The treaty had been suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It permits Washington and Moscow to conduct inspections of each other’s weapons sites. The US has been stressing on the nee for dialogue on the matter following nuclear threats by Russia in wake of the Ukraine invasion.
“The Russian side informed the United States that Russia has unilaterally postponed the meeting and stated that it would propose new dates,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.
He further informed that Washington is “ready to reschedule at the earliest possible date as resuming inspections is a priority for sustaining the treaty as an instrument of stability.”
The New START Treaty came into force in 2011 and caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia can deploy, and the deployment of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov wasn’t very hopeful of a breakthrough from the talks. However, a dialogue between the two countries was still a positive sign amid the ongoing tensions.
“President Biden has been very clear about his commitment to negotiating to maintain the arms control structure beyond the expiration of START in 2026. And we remain committed to that goal,” Elizabeth Rood, the top US diplomat in Moscow, told RIA Novosti.


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