The United States denounced that Russia violates the New START treaty on nuclear arms control
The United States on Tuesday charged Russia of violate the New START Treaty, the last great pillar of nuclear arms control between the two countries after the Cold War, stating that Moscow refuses to allow inspection activities on its territory.
The treaty entered into force in 2011 and was extended for five more years in 2021. It limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia can deploy, as well as the deployment of land and submarine missiles and bombers to carry them.
The two countries, which were constrained during the Cold War by a tangle of arms control agreements, together still possess about 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.
Washington has been eager to preserve the treaty, but ties with Moscow are the worst in decades because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which could complicate the attempts of the administration of President Joe Biden to maintain and reach a follow-on agreement.
“Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important treaty rights and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control,” a State Department spokesperson said in emailed comments.
The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, was quoted by the news agency interface saying that “arms control cannot be isolated from geopolitical realities” and that Russia considered it inappropriate to invite the US military to its strategic installations at this time.
Antonov stated that Russia would nevertheless abide by the other terms and limitations of New START.
Leaders of the US Senate homeland security committees, which must approve the treaties, said Moscow’s failure to comply would affect future arms deals.
Moscow suspended cooperation with inspections under the treaty in August, blaming travel restrictions imposed by Washington. and its allies after Russian forces invaded neighboring Ukraine in February last year, but said it remained committed to abiding by the treaty’s provisions.
Talks between Moscow and Washington on the resumption of inspections under New START were to take place in Egypt in November, but Russia postponed them and neither party has set a new date.
On Monday, Russia told the United States that the treaty could expire in 2026 without a replacement because, in its view, Washington was trying to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Moscow in Ukraine.
(With information from Reuters/By Humeyra Pamuk)