MOSCOW ( Associated Press) — Russia has postponed a round of nuclear arms control talks with the United States that were to begin this week because of differences in approach and tensions over Ukraine, a Russian diplomat said Tuesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the decision to postpone the talks set to begin on Tuesday in Cairo was taken at the political level.
“We are faced with a situation where our American partners have not only shown reluctance to listen to our signals and take into account our priorities, but have done quite the opposite,” Ryabkov told reporters in Moscow.
Ryabkov said the United States wanted to focus exclusively on resuming inspections under the New START treaty and blocked Russia’s request to discuss specific issues related to arms counts under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Have given.
The State Department said on Monday that Moscow had unilaterally decided to postpone the Cairo talks and would propose new dates.
The State Department said, “The United States stands ready to reschedule as soon as possible, because resuming inspections is a priority in order to maintain the treaty as an instrument of stability.”
The meeting of the bilateral Consultative Commission created under New Start, scheduled for this week, will be the first in more than a year. The date was intended to demonstrate that the two countries are committed to maintaining arms control and keeping lines of communication open despite tensions due to the situation in Ukraine.
Russia has opposed sending Western arms consignments to Ukraine. Ryabkov said that the situation in Ukraine was one of the reasons for Moscow’s decision to delay the talks.
“Naturally, events in and around Ukraine affect this,” the deputy foreign minister said. “Gun control and dialogue in this area have played a role in what is going on around us and the bigger picture, which is quite complex and troubling enough.”
The New START treaty, signed in 2010 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev, limits each country to a maximum of 1,550 installed nuclear weapons and 700 missiles and bombers. Provides comprehensive on-site inspections to verify contract compliance.