The US And Russia Arms Control Meeting In Vienna Will Take Place July 28-30, 2020
A new round of Russian-American consultations on arms control will be held from July 28 to 30 in the Austrian capital, while the two sides will discuss security issues in space on July 27, according to a statement issued on Friday by the press service of the US State Department.
"The US delegation, which will include representatives of the US State Department, the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Energy, as well as the national security Council, will travel to Vienna, Austria, to participate in the meeting of the US-Russia working group from July 28 to 30. During these meetings, representatives of [the two countries] will discuss issues of nuclear doctrine and warheads, as well as transparency and verification within the framework of the US trilateral arms control initiative (with the participation of China)," the document notes.
"At the same time, delegations from the US State Department, the US Department of Defense, and the US Department of Energy, as well as the national security Council, will hold an exchange of views between the US and Russia on the issue of space security in Vienna on July 27," the press service added.
In June, under the chairmanship of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and us President's special representative for arms control Marshall Billingsley, a previous round of bilateral consultations was held in Vienna to discuss issues of arms control and strategic stability. The US invites China to such meetings, but Beijing refuses.
On Tuesday, Billingsley said that Washington still hopes that China will join the talks. On July 8, Fu Tsong, Director of the Department of arms control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that China is ready to participate if the United States reduces its arsenals to the level that is available to the PRC. At the same time, according to the Chinese diplomat, Beijing understands that "this cannot happen." He also assured that if the US and Russia extend the Treaty on measures for further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons and its basis "continue to reduce their nuclear arsenals, China will participate [in the negotiations]."
Billingsley, commenting on Fu Tsong's remarks, said that China's approach to nuclear disarmament and arms control is changing, and the US government welcomes this "evolution in thinking" of Beijing.