The United States Administration has accused the Russian authorities of having “unilaterally” suspended the talks, scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Egypt, to reformulate the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
As reported by a State Department spokesperson to CNN, Russia has informed the US side that it will be absent from the table and that, later on, it will propose a new date for these consultations.
In this sense, the aforementioned spokesman stressed that Washington is “ready to reschedule this meeting as soon as possible,” considering that resuming the consultations is “a priority” to continue counting on the START agreement as an “instrument of stability.”
From Russia, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed the suspension of the meeting, although it has not delved into more details.
Washington and Moscow announced in February 2021 the entry into force of the five-year extension of said treaty with the aim of strengthening “the national security of both countries” and ensuring “verifiable limits on intercontinental nuclear weapons.”
The START treaty was signed in 1991 by the then leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, George HW Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. In April 2010, the agreement was replaced by the New START treaty, signed by then-US and Russian leaders Barack Obama and Dimitri Medvedev, respectively.
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.