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Monday, May 24, 2021, 17:40
New START treaty: Russia raises concern over US compliance
By Reuters
Monday, May 24, 2021, 17:40 By Reuters

MOSCOW - Russia's foreign ministry on Monday raised concerns over Washington's implementation of the New START nuclear arms control treaty and said the number of US launchers and bombers exceeded the agreed limit.

Russia and Washington extended the New START treaty in February. It is a cornerstone of global arms control and limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy.

The remarks by Russia's foreign ministry come after Moscow said it was drawing up proposals for the agenda of a possible summit meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden

READ MORE: Putin and Biden may meet in June, senior Kremlin aide says

In a statement, the ministry said 56 US launchers and 41 heavy bombers had been removed from Washington's declared arsenal and that Moscow was unable to confirm that they were no longer nuclear-capable. It also said four underground missile silos had also been removed from the count.

"Thus, the figure allowed under ... the Treaty is exceeded by the United States by 101," it said.

Russia has raised similar concerns in the past.

ALSO READ: US extends New START treaty with Russia for 5 years

The United States has said it is in full compliance with the treaty and that it stands by its conversion procedures to render launchers and heavy bombers incapable of employing nuclear weapons and put them outside the treaty.

The remarks by Russia's foreign ministry come amid a push to organize a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden next month despite dire ties between the two countries. Russia said earlier on Monday it was drawing up proposals for the meeting's possible agenda.

Also on Monday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Russian Security Council secretary Nikolay Patrushev held talks in Geneva and discussed strategic stability, the Council was quoted by TASS news agency as saying.

The meeting was important in preparing for a planned summit between the two countries' leaders, the White House said.

"The meeting was an important step in the preparation for a planned US-Russia summit, the date and location of which will be announced later," it said.

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