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START negotiations with USA: Russia cancels talks on nuclear weapons control

START negotiations with USA
Russia cancels talks on nuclear weapons control

The New START agreement is the last major arms control treaty between the US and Russia. The Kremlin is now shelving talks that should have started today. No reasons are given, and a new date has not been set either.

Russia has postponed much-anticipated arms control talks with the United States. “The meeting of the bilateral coordination committee on the Russian-American START agreement” will “not take place on the specified dates,” a spokesman for the foreign ministry told the state news agency TASS. The talks would be postponed to a later date. The spokesman did not give any further details.

The talks, originally scheduled to take place in Cairo between November 29 and December 6, were to take place despite tensions resulting from the Ukraine conflict. The US said in November it expected to meet with Russia soon to discuss the possible resumption of inspections under New Start, a key nuclear arms deal between the two countries.

Moscow announced in August that it would suspend US inspections of its military sites as part of New START. Moscow was reacting to the US obstructing inspections by Russia.

Maximum 1550 nuclear warheads

New START is the last bilateral agreement of its kind between the world’s two most important nuclear powers. With the signing, Washington and Moscow committed to reducing their nuclear warheads to a maximum of 1,550 each.

Moscow has not given a reason for the cancellation of the Cairo meeting, said White House national security spokesman John Kirby. “We would like to see it put back on the schedule as soon as possible,” he added.

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