Diverging statements left unclear if New START discussions continued or were “not happening”
According to Andrey Belousov, a Russian diplomat, the talks between Washington and Moscow on the subject of strategic arms reduction are continuing as normal. The necessary information has been exchanged via the appropriate channels. His counterpart at the State Department said earlier in the day that there were no ongoing discussions about the New START Treaty.
“Interactions between Russia and the US as parties to the New START treaty have not been interrupted,”Belousov is the Russian deputy representative at the UN and other international organisations in Geneva.
“We expect that such work will continue until the end of the treaty, which, as you know, was extended until February 2026,” He concluded.
Belousov was addressing a question about whether Russia’s recent decision to withdraw from the inspection regime could be interpreted as leaving the treaty. Moscow made the point that US sanctions caused a difference in working conditions for Russian inspectors.
“Now Russia finds itself in a difficult position that prevents inspections on US territory. Meanwhile, the American side is in no hurry to change the situation,”Belousov stated. “We will be ready to consider the issue of resuming inspection activities as soon as appropriate conditions are created for this.”
Belousov gave an example by citing the US announcement of some strategic bombers and submarines that could carry missile-carrying nuclear warships having been converted.
“However, in the context of the Treaty we can’t verify that, so the US de facto now has more platforms for deploying nuclear weapons than the treaty allows,”The diplomat stated.
Bonnie Jenkins, the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security of the State Department spoke earlier today at an information session. She stated that Ukraine’s conflict has disrupted nuclear negotiations with Moscow.
“I think we all realize that discussions between the US and Russia about the next steps in relation to the New START treaty are not happening right now because of the situation we’re dealing with. And these talks will continue in the future when the situation for that is right,” news agencies quoted her as saying.