Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia is interested in nuclear arms control talks with the US but agreed that such negotiations are unlikely to take place at this point.
“We are interested [in such talks] as we believe that [it’s necessary] to continue talks and discuss this issue given the tectonic shifts in the field of European and even global security. Such talks are necessary, the whole world needs them,” Peskov said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.
Peskov was responding to a question about comments from US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who said it’s unlikely arms control will take place at the moment. “Perhaps, we should agree with the ambassador that it looks unlikely at the moment but sooner or later we will need to return to this issue,” Peskov said.
In an interview with Tass, Sullivan said he wasn’t told to prepare for arms control talks. “It is certainly not something I’ve been instructed by Washington to be prepared for. On the other hand, it is one of the most significant issues between the US and Russia,” he said.
There is currently only one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia, the New START, which limits the number of missiles, bombers, and warheads each power can have deployed. Last year, President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to extend New START for five years.
Last week, a US official told The New York Times that “right now it’s almost impossible to imagine” the US and Russia negotiating a replacement for New START before it expires in 2026.
Washington and Moscow had been holding arms control talks, but the Biden administration halted them after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. While Russian officials have said they’re open to resuming the negotiations, US officials haven’t shown interest.