Russia has postponed a round of nuclear arms control talks with the US due to serious differences in approach and tensions over Ukraine, a senior Russian diplomat said, quoted by BTA.

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The decision to postpone this week's talks in Cairo was made at a political level, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

"We were faced with a situation where our American counterparts not only showed their unwillingness to listen to our signals and take into account our priorities, but also acted in the opposite way," he told reporters in Moscow.

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He said the US wanted to focus only on resuming inspections under the New START agreement and resisted Russia's request to also discuss specific details related to the arms count under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The US State Department said yesterday that Russia had decided unilaterally to postpone the talks and intended to propose new dates.

Ryabkov said the situation in Ukraine contributed to Moscow's decision to postpone the talks.

According to him, the postponement of the negotiations at the last moment is a "political signal" to Washington, DPA points out.

Ryabkov blamed the US for the failure of the dialogue and said that if the US had wanted the talks, it should have made proposals to revive them.

The consultations in Cairo would be the first arms control talks since the start of the war in Ukraine.

It is now unclear when they may be renewed.

Ryabkov said Russia would propose a new date for talks next year at the earliest.

He also said that Russia and the United States have repeatedly been on the verge of a prisoner swap deal and that a deal is still possible by the end of the year.

"If this happens, it will undoubtedly send a positive signal that not everything is so completely hopeless in Russian-American relations," Ryabkov said.

The US government has been trying for months to negotiate the release of basketball player Britney Greiner and former Marine Paul Whelan, who are serving sentences in Russia, including through a possible prisoner swap with Moscow.

The AP and other media reported earlier that Washington had offered to exchange Griner and Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a sentence in the United States.

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