Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he expects the United States and Russia to launch new arms control talks by mid-July.
“Within days — I hope by mid-July — we plan a meeting of delegations, which are to discuss tasks set forth by the [Russian and U.S.] presidents in the area of strategic stability, arms control, and reduction,” Lavrov said on June 30, according to Russian news agencies.
“Such preliminary consultations are to yield only a mutually acceptable agreement” on the topics of the talks, he said during a visit to the southern Turkish resort of Antalya.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed to hold nuclear arms control talks at their summit in Geneva on June 16. The talks would build on the New START treaty, a cornerstone of global arms control.
In January, Biden moved to extend New START — the last major arms-control treaty remaining between Moscow and Washington — shortly before its expiration.
The treaty limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550, deployed strategic delivery systems at 700, and provides for a verification regime.
Already strained relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated further since Biden took office in January, with the United States sanctioning Russia over cyberattacks, election meddling, and the poisoning and jailing of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
But the U.S. president has also said that the United States wants a “stable, predictable” relationship that allows the two countries to work together on common issues like strategic stability, arms control, and climate change.