Delegations from the United States and Russia met on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, to begin the first session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission, the implementation body for the New START arms control treaty. The two countries “will coordinate and discuss technical issues” related to treaty implementation during the 12-day session, according to a State Department release. The BCC is required to meet at least twice a year. A State Department official told the Daily Report Monday that implementation is already “well underway” for the pact, which entered into force in early February. Nuclear risk-reduction centers in Washington, D.C., and Moscow have been exchanging information, such as data on “missiles, launchers, heavy bombers, and warheads subject to the treaty,” the official said. On March 18, the United States conducted an exhibition of the B-1B bomber for the Russians at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. An exhibition of Russia’s newest ICBM, the RS-24, also has occurred, said the official.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.