Russia postponed negotiations with the US on the arms treaty

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS) (SPUTNIK/)

The United States reported Monday that Russia postponed without explanation the resumption of arms control negotiations scheduled for this week.

The US State Department indicated that the regime of Vladimir Putin “unilaterally postponed” a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission that was due to start on Tuesday in Egypt and was scheduled to last until next week. He noted that Moscow promised to propose new dates, but offered no reason for the delay.

“The United States is willing to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, as the resumption of inspections is a priority to maintain the treaty as an instrument of stability,” the Department said. He added that he did not have details on why Russia wanted the postponement or when the negotiations might be rescheduled.

In Russia, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs picked up by local news agencies offered no reason for the postponement.

The Bilateral Advisory Commission deals with the details of US and Russian inspections of the other country’s military sites, in accordance with the terms of the new start treatythe last major arms control pact between Washington and Moscow.

The commission has not met in over a year, initially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since languished due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Cairo meeting was meant to show that both sides remain committed to arms control and keep lines of communication open despite other differences.

Russian S-400 missile defense systems pass through Red Square during a military parade (REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina)
Russian S-400 missile defense systems pass through Red Square during a military parade (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/)

In early November, when announcing the resumption of talks, the State Department spokesman, ned pricesaid the discussions would focus entirely on the application of the New START treaty inspection process and would not include any discussion of the conflict in Ukraine.

“We deeply believe around the world in the transformative power and importance of diplomacy and dialogue,” Price said on November 8.

“This demonstrates our commitment to risk reduction, to strategic stability, something we remain committed to, something that is deeply in our bilateral interest, and we hope the next meeting will be constructive,” he added.

Inspections of US and Russian military sites under New START were halted by both sides due to the spread of the coronavirus in March 2020.

The START treaty was signed in 1991 by the then leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, George H. W. Bush Y Mikhail Gorbachev. In April 2010, the agreement was replaced by the New START treaty, signed by the then presidents of the United States and Russia, Barack Obama Y Dmitry Medvedevrespectively.

The agreement, for now in force due to an extension signed in 2021, expires in 2026. The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has shown himself willing to negotiate a new arms control framework to replace the current pact with Moscow.

(With information from AP and Europa Press)

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