Nuclear disarmament talks between Russia and the United States set to take place this week have been postponed, Moscow’s foreign ministry and the US Embassy said on Monday.

Officials from the two countries were due to meet in the Egyptian capital of Cairo from Nov. 29 to Dec. 6 to discuss resuming inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which had been suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The previously scheduled session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission under the U.S.-Russia New START Treaty in Cairo (Nov. 29-Dec. 6) will not take place on those dates,” the ministry said. “The event is postponed to a later date.”

It gave no reason, although the US Embassy was quoted by the Kommersant newspaper as saying the decision had been Russia’s.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had played down expectations of a breakthrough, although the talks were a sign that both sides at least wanted to maintain dialogue, even though relations are at their lowest level since the Cold War.

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