US-Russia nuclear talks postponed


Russia postponed nuclear weapons talks with the United States set to take place this week in Cairo, the US State Depart­ment said on Monday, with neither side giving a reason for the postponement.
Officials from the two countries were scheduled to meet in the Egyptian capital from Nov 29 to Dec 6 to discuss resuming inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which had been suspended in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Russian side informed the United States that Russia has unilaterally postponed the meeting and stated that it would propose new dates,” a State Depart­ment spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said they could not provide further information, but said Washington is “ready to reschedule at the earliest possible date as resuming inspections is a priority for sustaining the treaty as an instrument of stability.”
The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the talks were postponed. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov played down expectations of a breakthrough, although the talks were a sign that both sides at least wanted to maintain dialogue, even though relations are at their lowest level since the Cold War.