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Russia Blames U.S. 'Toxicity and Animosity' for Canceled Arms Talks

Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Moscow on Tuesday blamed U.S. "toxicity and animosity" for the postponement of key arms control talks with Washington as tensions continued to peak over the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine.

On Monday, Russia said the talks scheduled to take place in Cairo between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 would be held "at a later date."

The Kremlin declined to comment, but the Russian Foreign Ministry blamed the United States, pointing to "extremely negative" relations between the two countries.

New START — Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty — is the last agreement of its kind between the world's two main nuclear powers.

"Across all spheres, we are seeing the highest level of toxicity and hostility from Washington," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

Signed in 2010, the agreement limited the arsenals of the two countries to a maximum of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads each — a reduction of nearly 30% from the previous limit set in 2002.

She accused Washington of unleashing a "total hybrid war" against Russia and said arms talks could not be conducted in the current circumstances.

Zakharova said it was impossible to talk to Russia about "transparency and predictability" in the military sphere and at the same time help "the Kyiv regime kill our troops and civilians in Russian regions."

The United States had said this month that it expected to meet Russia soon to discuss the possible resumption of inspections under New START.

Moscow announced in August that it was suspending U.S. inspections of its military sites under New START, saying it was responding to American obstruction of inspections by Russia.

Zakharova also said Washington continued to ignore Russia's concerns about inspections.

She said Moscow expected Washington to create the right "conditions" for the talks to be held next year. 

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