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Russia and the USA will discuss nuclear disarmament in Cairo from November 29 to December 6 within the framework of the bilateral commission on the New START or START III Treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov said today.
“We still have contacts with the Americans, including within the framework of the so-called bilateral commission on the START Treaty. From November 29 to December 6, a meeting will be held in Cairo,” he said on RTVi.
This meeting comes after Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin and CIA Director William Burns discussed in Ankara on Monday, among other things, the growing nuclear risk and international tensions arising from Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
A White House spokeswoman confirmed to EFE that the meeting took place within the channels of communication they have opened with Russia “on risk management,” especially nuclear and those existing for strategic stability.
“The American side initiated the contact, it was carried out through the special services. The issues discussed there are of a sensitive nature,” Riyabkov said in this regard.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova indicated on the 9th that a START III commission will soon be held and that in this area the dialogue with the U.S. side has not stopped, both in terms of the exchange of documents and other channels of communication still in place.
The diplomat stressed that this is not a negotiation process but a “practical” and “constant” work carried out by the parties in the framework of compliance with the pact.
Riyabkov assured that Russia is ready to discuss all START III issues with the United States.
“The list (of topics) is, in principle, extensive. I want to say again that for us, as a responsible party to the treaty, there are no closed topics, no taboos.”
The deputy minister noted that the Russian side is discussing everything with the Americans “calmly and constructively” and that he expects Washington to behave in the same way after a long pause in this dialogue.
Riyabkov argued that Western countries are trying to accuse Russia of “non-existent intentions” to use nuclear weapons.
“No matter how firm we stand on this issue, explaining the obvious things, they are trying to impute some non-existent intentions to us, which is just a reflection of the course towards demonization of Russia,” he said.
He added that Russia can use nuclear weapons only in a number of cases, outside of which the use of such weapons is impossible.
“We have repeatedly stressed that the use of nuclear weapons is possible in two situations: when an attack is carried out against us or our allies using nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction, and when an act of aggression is carried out against Russia using conventional weapons and the situation has reached a point where the very existence of our state is threatened,” he said.
The U.S. suspended dialogue on arms control following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In August, Russia informed Washington of its decision to ban U.S. on-site inspections of its nuclear weapons arsenal, citing difficulties in doing the same in the U.S. due to Western sanctions on overflight permits and visas for Russian officials.
In February 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden extended for five years the last nuclear disarmament treaty in force between the two powers, which had been signed in 2010.
New START, which includes explicitly a stockpile inspection system, was to reduce the number of nuclear warheads by 30%, to 1,550 per country.
In addition, it limited to 700 the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, those deployed on submarines and strategic bombers equipped for nuclear armament.
It also reduced to 800 the number of launchers for intercontinental missiles, underwater launchers for ballistic missiles and strategic bombers equipped for nuclear weapons, whether deployed or not.