WASHINGTON (AA) – Russia has “unilaterally postponed” nuclear disarmament talks that were slated to be held this week in Cairo, Egypt, the State Department said on Monday.
The meeting of the New START Treaty’s Bilateral Consultative Commission was to begin on Tuesday in Egypt, but the Kremlin informed the Biden administration that “Russia has unilaterally postponed the meeting and stated that it would propose new dates,” a State Department spokesman told Anadolu Agency in an emailed statement. It did not specify which rationale Russia provided, if any, but it comes as the US continues to help Ukraine thwart an ongoing Russian invasion.
“The United States is ready to reschedule at the earliest possible date as resuming inspections is a priority for sustaining the treaty as an instrument of stability,” he added.
The commission is tasked with discussing issues related to the bilateral treaty’s implementation. It last met in Geneva in October 2021.
The Russian Foreign Ministry did not state any reason for why the meeting was postponed.
The New START agreement, signed in 2010, limits the number of Russian and US deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a maximum of 1,550. The agreement also limited the number of launch pads and heavy bombers to 800.
Shortly after the US President Joe Biden took the office in January 2021, the two countries extended the agreement to 2026.