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US Department of State confirms plans to hold a Russian-US meeting on New START soon

US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price expressed hope for a ‘constructive’ meeting

WASHINGTON, November 9. /TASS/. Russia and the United States have agreed to hold a bilateral meeting on the New START treaty implementation in the near future, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday.

"We have agreed that the BCC [New START Treaty’s Bilateral Consultative Commission] will meet in the near future under the terms of the New START Treaty," he said. "That’s the bilateral mechanism for discussing treaty implementation issues under the New START Treaty."

"The work of the BCC is confidential, but we do hope for a constructive session," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson did not elaborate on the date and potential venue of the talks, and declined to comment on whether it would indeed take place in Egypt’s capital Cairo as was earlier reported by Bloomberg.

At the same time, he pointed out that the issues of Ukrainian crisis settlement will not be raised at the talks.

"Of course, nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine is a cardinal principle that applies to Russia’s war in Ukraine," Price added.

The US diplomat confirmed that the upcoming talks would focus on resumption of inspections under the New START treaty.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) was signed in 2010 and entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The New START Treaty was to remain in force for 10 years, until 2021, unless it is replaced before that date by a subsequent agreement on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.

In February 2021, Moscow and Washington extended the treaty, described by the Russian authorities as the golden standard in the sphere of disarmament, for the longest possible term of five years. The current US administration has repeatedly signaled that it considers the New START as a very important document and wants to keep it in place.

Russia earlier informed the United States that it was temporarily pausing inspections at its facilities covered by the New START Treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that Moscow was forced to resort to such actions "due to Washington’s persistence in implicitly restarting inspections on conditions that do not take into account the existing realities, create unilateral advantages for the United States and actually strip Russia of the right to carry out inspections on US soil.".