14:34 GMT07 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Special Representative for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said in a statement that the two countries agreed to launch technical working groups on strategic stability, adding that the first round of US-Russia strategic stability talks was "very positive".

    "The first round of Vienna talks very positive. Detailed discussions on full-range of nuclear topics", Billingslea said via Twitter on Monday. "Technical working groups launched. Agreement in principle on the second round".

    Russian-US consultations on strategic stability concluded earlier in the day in Vienna. The Russian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, and the US delegation was headed by Billingslea. The consultations lasted about ten hours.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said following the talks that the two countries' officials had discussed the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which is set to expire in February 2021, and maintaining stability in the context of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty termination.

    The previous round of the Russian-US strategic consultations was held in Vienna on 16 January before the dialogue was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is the last remaining arms control treaty in force between Russia and the United States. Signed in 2010, the pact stipulates that the number of strategic nuclear missiles launchers must be cut by half and limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550.

    Vienna, New START, Russia, United States
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