BREAKING: Strategic arms talks between Russia and the US Breakdown

HUGE 'flash of light' followed by 'massive explosion' in Hackney Wick, London

Strategic arms talks, due to be held from November 29, between Russia and the US have broken down according to news site Kommersant.

The news site reported on Monday, November 28 that the US Embassy in Moscow had advised them that “Russia had unilaterally postponed the meeting saying it would offer new dates.”

The meeting was due to take place in Cairo from November 29 through to December 6 when the parties planned to discuss mutual claims within the framework of the bilateral security treaty.

Key to the meeting was the agreement of the resumption of on-site inspections.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the postponement to Kommersant but provided no reasons for the decision.

Continuation of talks between the two countries were considered key to global security as well as going some towards solving the issue in Ukraine. The meeting of the START treaty was due to take place in Cairo as Switzerland is no longer considered a neutral country by Russia after it imposed its own sanctions on the country following its invasion of its neighbour.

The START treaty has been in force for more than ten years, having come into effect of February 5, 2011. Considered an important treaty for world peace, it was designed to stop nuclear proliferation with both countries agreeing to reduce their nuclear arsenal.

The treaty also allowed for mutual inspections and provides for meetings twice a year at which security issues can be discussed. The last the two met was in October 2021, more than a year ago.

Although up to 18 inspections are allowed by each side annually, no inspections have taken place since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the US wanted to conduct a fuller inspection than usual which the Russia saw as a provocation and as a result, suspended talks.

At the time a Russian spokesperson, Sergei Ryabkov, blamed sanctions and the closing of safe air routes for Russian personnel as the reason for discontinuing inspections.

Given the current conflict in Ukraine, the US is keen to resume inspections as soon as possible. But Russia is dragging its heels over concerns that it says it has about the treaty and the inspections.

Officials had pinned hopes on Cairo as a neutral country accessible by Moscow would get the treaty back on track, especially as there is a need to begin planning for the replacement of the START treaty which expires roughly three years from now.

Among Russian concerns is their belief that the US has not declared all its nuclear weapons. Conversely the US has accused Russia of hiding its arsenal by not allowing inspections.

President Joe Biden has been at pains not to escalate the issue by saying that Russia is adhering to the treaty and that the issues were technical in nature.

Experts think however that there is a bigger problem as strategic arms talks between Russia and the US Breakdown.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]