Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Moscow was exploring the idea of holding in-person talks with the US on New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two powers.
“At the moment, we are exploring possibilities for holding a face-to-face session,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
Zakharova said that there is an “ongoing dialogue” between the US and Russia concerning the resumption of inspections under the New START treaty, which have been suspended since 2020 due to COVID-19. “There is an ongoing dialogue through the appropriate channels on how the parties could return to full implementation of the treaty in this part,” she said.
Zakharova said that the main focus of the dialogue between the US and Russia is on the Bilateral Consultative Commission, a compliance and implementation body that was established by the New START to ensure inspections are carried out.
The New START limits the deployment of warheads, missiles, and bombers and is due to expire in 2026. Before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US and Russia were engaged in talks on renewing the treaty. But the US cut off the talks after the invasion.
Zakharova also raised the issue of US sanctions, saying they made cooperation difficult on the issue. Russia previously said it was suspending New START inspections due to complications caused by sanctions.
“I would like to note that the implementation of essentially routine measures stipulated by the treaty is complicated by the unconstructive anti-Russian actions of the US and its partners,” Zakharova said.