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Senior Russian Diplomat Says Implementation of New START Treaty Affected by U.S. Policy Toward Russia and Ukraine

Feb. 6, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reported in a press conference in Moscow this morning, that when he met last week with Lynne Tracy, the new U.S. ambassador to Russia, the status of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty was among the topics on their agenda.

“We don’t reveal the contents of closed consultations. What I can add to the short media statement that was released following the meeting with Ambassador Tracy is that we discussed the New START. The Americans later decided to make their claims on the matter public [likely referring to U.S. accusations made last week that Russia is in violation of the treaty by not allowing U.S. inspectors into Russia-ed.]. There was nothing unexpected or unusual about that signal for us,” Ryabkov said in response to a TASS question. He stressed that “the United States has made previous attempts to present all things related to the activities of the Bilateral Consultative Commission as a completely different issue that should be considered with no reference to the developments in Ukraine.”

“We view the situation around inspections in the same context as the issue of the next session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission. It’s hard to imagine officers of the U.S. Armed Forces inspecting Russian military facilities,” he pointed out. “They would have traveled deep into our country while being the representatives of a party to the conflict (in Ukraine), albeit for purposes said to be connected with the need to verify the implementation of New START,”

Ryabkov added.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, last week, Ryabkov had indicated that it is quite possible that there will be no arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia after New START expires in 2026.

“Unfortunately, during all recent years, Washington was guided by the principle that its egoistic interest is all that matters, while all the rest can be ignored,” he said. “This is why we were seeing a deliberate dismantling of the entire arms control structure, including multilateral treaties, not just bilateral agreements with the Russian Federation. The New START treaty may also fall victim to this approach. We are ready for this scenario. We are considering it and its consequences, and we are thinking about what we should focus on to guarantee our security. However, we are not hiding that this is not our choice. It would be rational to take a different path—to resume the discussion of strategic stability and start working on a new security equation that would consider all factors affecting strategic stability.”

Ryabkov also stressed that there is no dialogue with the U.S. on anything— especially not on Ukraine.

“We currently have no dialogue with the Americans on the subject of the special military operation, Ukraine, on any lines, except for communication between representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the State Department with the U.S. embassy in Moscow and the Russian embassy in Washington. Occasional phone calls at other levels take place, but no meetings, special formats for this kind of consultations are not held,”

he said.

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