US Accuses Russia Of Violating Major Nuclear Treaty Amid Tension Over Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting in Moscow

US Accuses Russia Of Violating Major Nuclear Treaty Amid Tension Over Ukraine

Lorenzo Prieto on February 1, 2023

The U.S. on Tuesday accused Russia of not observing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as New START, which limits the two countries’ nuclear arsenals, according to The Washington Post.

Russia is not allowing inspections on its territory despite previously agreeing to extend the treaty for five more years, said the State Department, as reported by the Post. The relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated since last year’s threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons to defend the Ukrainian territories illegally annexed in its 2022 invasion.

There have been no inspections in the last three years because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but now due to the worsening relationship between Washington and Moscow. A meeting in November about the treaty got canceled because of the grave situation in the Russian-American relations caused by Washington, Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said, according to the Post.

“All Russia needs to do is allow inspection activities on its territory, just as it did for years under New START, and meet in a session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission,” the State Department said in a statement Tuesday, according to the Post. “There is nothing preventing Russian inspectors from traveling to the United States and conducting inspections.”

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The New START Treaty, signed by Former President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, stipulates regular inspections, sharing the status of some ballistic weapons, and regulating the quantity and power of nuclear weapons each country may deploy, according to the post. A possible demise of such a treaty would signal the end of a nuclear security plan that the U.S. and Russia built during the 1980s.

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