Russia says no date set for talks with US on nuclear arms treaty

Russia said on Monday (Jan 23) that no new date had been set for talks with the United States on the New START nuclear arms treaty, accusing the US of ramping up tensions between the two sides.

Talks between Moscow and Washington on resuming inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty were due to take place in November in Egypt, but Russia postponed them and neither side has set a new date for a meeting.

Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, said the conditions were not right for new talks on the treaty, which caps the number of each side’s strategic nuclear warheads.

“The situation does not, frankly speaking, allow for setting a new date, … taking into account this escalation trend in both rhetoric and actions by the United States,” Ryabkov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Already poor US-Russia ties became even more strained last year when Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting Washington and its allies to respond with a barrage of sanctions against Russia’s economy.

While there have been occasional diplomatic successes, including prisoner swaps involving US Marine veteran Trevor Reed and basketball star Brittney Griner, direct high-level contact has been scarce.

Moscow said in November that it had “no other choice” but to cancel talks with the United States over inspections under the New START treaty, which is set to expire in February 2026. 

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