MOSCOW, Feb 7 —The fate of nuclear arms controls talks between Russia and the United States will to a large extent depend on how the negotiations on Moscow’s security demands progress, a senior Russian diplomat was quoted as saying today.

Having amassed over 100,000 troops near the border with its pro-Western neighbour Ukraine, Russia wants the United States and Nato to pledge that Kyiv will not be allowed to join the military bloc. Washington has so far refused to provide such guarantees.

Vladimir Yermakov, head of nuclear non-proliferation and controls at Russia’s foreign ministry, told the RIA news agency that the urgent security guarantees discussions have taken priority over strategic arms controls talks.

No meetings have been agreed on the latter, and their resumption of now depends largely on resolving the immediate security issues raised by Moscow, he said. — Reuters