MOSCOW: Russia has called off strategic talks with the US set for this month after a Washington delegation snubbed a meeting on cybersecurity, Moscow’s ambassador to the US told TASS news agency Friday.
Anatoly Antonov said Washington’s last-minute pullout from talks in Geneva at the end of February was an “unfriendly step… that gave the impression of having been pre-planned and leading to the further degradation of bilateral relations.”
Because of this, Russia would find it “impossible” to go ahead with a meeting set for March 6 and 7 in Vienna aimed at addressing strategic stability and problems in the powers’ bilateral ties.
The move comes as Washington accuses Moscow of openly breaching Cold War era treaties by developing what President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called a new generation of “invincible” hypersonic weapons and submarines.
In a separate statement on Facebook, Antonov rejected the accusations of the US State Department.
“I will underline once again that Russia has not violated a single arms control and non-proliferation agreement while developing its nuclear potential,” the ambassador said.
“It appears that the State Department does not know the substance of the matter very well,” he added, saying that none of the weapons mentioned in Putin’s military-heavy state of the nation address on Thursday were covered by treaties between the US and the former Soviet Union. —AFP