Russia, U.S. Begin Strategic Stability Consultations in Geneva

Russia’s permanent mission to the United Nations Geneva Office is hosting a meeting between Moscow and Washington that will address strategic stability consultations. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is heading the Russian delegation, while the U.S. delegation is led by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The delegation also includes the State Department’s Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson, TASS reports.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump handed down instructions to resume full-fledged dialogue on the matter following their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka in late June.

Ahead of the meeting, Moscow pointed out that it views extention of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) as the most important issue on the agenda.

Washington, however, assumed it was too early to discuss the matter, while there was a need to consider the possibility of reaching a trilateral agreement on nuclear arms reduction between the United States, Russia and China.

The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington repeatedly accused Russia of violating the accord, but Moscow vehemently dismissed all accusations and, in its turn, expressed grievances over Washington’s non-compliance.

On February 1, 2019, Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the suspension of Washington’s obligations under the INF starting February 2. Washington is determined to withdraw from the treaty in six months unless Russia returns to “real and verifiable” compliance, TASS noted.