US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, during a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting of the G20 Council of Foreign Ministers in New Delhi, called on Russia to cancel the decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This is reported by Reuters, citing a senior US official.
According to the agency, the conversation between the two diplomats lasted less than 10 minutes. Blinken also said that the United States is ready “to help Ukraine defend itself for as long as it takes.”
The Wall Street Journal also writes that the meeting was not scheduled. According to her, the US Secretary of State also called for the release of Paul Whelan, an American convicted in Russia.
The Associated Press reports that the US representative declined to comment on Lavrov’s response in any way. At the same time, he noted that Blinken “did not get the impression that there would be changes in Russia’s behavior in the short term.”
On March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law suspending Russia’s participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. START was signed between Russia and the United States on April 8, 2010 in Prague, it is known as START, START-3 or the Prague Treaty. The document was designed for 10 years (until February 2021) with the possibility of extension for a period of not more than five years and includes a withdrawal clause. Each of the parties, according to the terms of the document, was to reduce their nuclear arsenals so that in seven years and thereafter the total number of weapons would not exceed 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missiles on submarines and heavy bombers, as well as 1,550 warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers.
On February 3, 2021, Russia and the United States exchanged notes on the completion of internal procedures necessary for the entry into force of an agreement to extend the term of the treaty for five years. On August 8, 2022, Russia informed the United States of the temporary withdrawal of its facilities from START inspection. As the Russian Foreign Ministry explained, this was a forced decision taken against the backdrop of anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West after the start of a special military operation.
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