US says Russia is violating key nuclear arms control agreement



Russia is violating an important nuclear arms control agreement with the United States and continues to refuse to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.

“Russia is failing to fulfill its obligation under the New START treaty to facilitate inspection activities on its territory. Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“Russia has also failed to comply with the obligation of the New START treaty to convene a session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission in accordance with the timeline mandated by the treaty,” the spokesman added.

Under the New START treaty — the only agreement left to regulate the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals — Washington and Moscow are allowed to inspect each other’s weapons sites, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, inspections have been halted since 2020.

A session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission on the treaty was due to meet in Egypt at the end of November, but was abruptly called off. The US has blamed Russia for this delay, with a State Department spokesman saying the decision was made “unilaterally” by Russia.

The treaty sets limits on the number of deployed intercontinental nuclear weapons that both the US and Russia can have. It was last extended for five years in early 2021, meaning the two sides should soon start negotiating a new arms control deal.

The State Department says Russia can return to full compliance if they “allow inspection activity on its territory, just as it did for years under the New START treaty” and also schedule a session of the commission.

“Russia has a clear path to return to full compliance. All Russia has to do is allow inspection activities on its territory, as it did for years under the New START treaty, and meet in a session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission,” the spokesman said. “Nothing prevents Russian inspectors from traveling to the United States and conducting inspections.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that the last remaining portion of the bilateral nuclear arms control treaty with the United States could expire in three years without replacement.

Asked if Moscow could imagine not having a nuclear arms control deal between the two nations when the extension of the 2011 New START treaty expires after 2026, Ryabkov told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti on Monday: “This is a very possible scenario. ”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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