Refusing to allow inspection activities on its territory, Russia has violated the New START Treaty, the United States accused on Tuesday.
A State Department spokesperson said in a statement that Moscow’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control and prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty.
Blaming travel restrictions imposed by the United States and its allies after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February last year, Moscow suspended cooperation with inspections under the treaty in August but claimed it will comply with the provisions of the treaty.
According to Washington, as the spokesperson added, it remains ready to work with Russia to fully implement the treaty, stressing that by allowing inspection activities, Moscow had a clear path for returning to compliance.
Russia postponed the talks on resuming inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty between Moscow and Washington that were due to take place in Egypt in November and no new date was set for a meeting by either side.
The New START, the last major pillar of post-Cold War nuclear arms control between the two countries, could expire in 2026 without a replacement because, as Russia pointed out, Washington is trying to inflict strategic defeat on Moscow in Ukraine.
After it came into force in 2011, the treaty was extended in 2021 for five more years.
The treaty caps the deployment of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them and the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Washington and Moscow are allowed to deploy.
After being constrained by a tangle of arms control agreements during the Cold War, the two countries still account together for about 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.
Attempts by the Biden administration- which has been keen to preserve the treaty – to maintain and reach a follow-on agreement could be complicated by the fact that Washington’s ties with Russia are the worst in decades over the war in Ukraine.
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