A meeting between US and Russian officials to discuss the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two powers, the New START, has been postponed, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The talks were scheduled to be held in Cairo, Egypt, from November 29 to December 6. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not give a reason for the delay and just said the meeting has been “postponed to a later date.”
The Biden administration is blaming Russia for the delay, with a State Department spokesperson saying the decision was made “unilaterally” by Moscow. “The Russian side informed the United States that Russia has unilaterally postponed the meeting and stated that it would propose new dates,” the spokesperson said.
The New START treaty limits the deployment of missiles, warheads, and bombers and includes an inspection regime. But the inspections have been suspended since March 2020 due to Covid-19, and the negotiations were expected to focus on resuming them.
The talks would have been held under the bilateral consultative commission (BCC), an implementation body established by the New START.
The New START is due to expire in 2026, and there’s currently no plan for a replacement for the treaty. The US and Russia were engaged in broader arms control talks before Russia invaded Ukraine, but they were suspended by the Biden administration.