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Russia and US to resume talks over nuclear weapons inspections

The U.S. and Russia are slated to discuss the resumption of nuclear weapons inspections after months of no contact due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed the news that a Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) meeting is in the works during a press briefing on Tuesday, referring to a previous Bloomberg News report on the matter. 

“That’s the bilateral mechanism for discussing treaty implementation issues under the New START treaty,” Price said at a press conference. “We have agreed that the BCC will meet in the near future, under the terms of the New START treaty, the work of the BCC is confidential, but we do hope for a constructive session.” 

Sources close to Moscow told Bloomberg that Cairo is the likely destination for the continuation of the talks because Switzerland joined other countries in the West to sanction Russia over the war in Ukraine.

The BCC held its last meeting in Geneva in October 2021.

Moscow barred inspectors from the U.S. in August after Russian visas were restricted to the United States. However, the inspections were suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. and Russia agreed to a five-year extension of the treaty last year just a month before it was set to expire.

The New START treaty, established by the Obama administration, governs the number of nuclear warheads the two countries deploy at any time, the last major nuclear arms pact in the post-Cold War era. 

The BCC oversees the practical implementation of the New START treaty, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. has cut off most of its contacts and implemented sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine, which began in February.

Source: The Hill

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