Russia, U.S. to hold first talks under nuclear treaty since Ukraine war -State Dept

The United States and Russia are expected to meet soon to discuss how to resume inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty that were suspended before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday. .

Speaking at a daily news conference, Price said the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC), the last remaining implementation mechanism of the arms control agreement between the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, would meet “in the near future”.

Russia suspended cooperation with inspections under the treaty in August, blaming travel restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies on Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but said it remained committed to the treaty’s provisions.

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“We have made it clear to Russia that the measures put in place as a result of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine do not prevent Russian inspectors from conducting New START inspections in the United States. So we hope that the BCC meeting will allow us to continue those inspections,” Price said.

New START, which entered into force in 2011, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads the US and Russia can deploy and the deployment of land-based and submarine-launched missiles and bombers designed to deliver them.

The BCC, which is supposed to meet twice a year, last met in 2021. in October, shortly before Russia began moving forces to its border with Ukraine.

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Price said Washington hoped for a “constructive session” but did not specify a date or location for the meeting.

A person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the BCC meetings should be held in Cairo.

“We are realistic about what a dialogue between the United States and Russia … can involve and what it can achieve,” Price said.

“We’ve focused on mitigating risk in these conversations, but we’ve been very conscious of not atrophying the ability of both of our countries to send messages back and forth and engage in dialogue.”

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Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said earlier on Tuesday that renewed talks could take place in the Middle East, adding that Moscow no longer sees Switzerland, a traditional venue, as neutral enough after it imposed sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan has begun confidential talks with senior Russian officials to reduce the risk of a wider war over Ukraine, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday. read more

Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Humeyra Pamuk and Reuters bureaus; Edited by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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