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Russia Announces Suspension of Nuclear Inspections under New START

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday announcing that Russia is temporarily suspending inspections of relevant facilities under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. The ministry stressed that Moscow was forced to do that because of “Washington’s tenacious desire to relaunch the inspection activities without prior arrangement on conditions that ignore the current realities, give the United States unilateral advantages and deprive Russia of the right to carry out inspections in the United States,” reported TASS. In other words, the treaty is another victim of U.S. sanctions on Russia, because the conditions that have resulted for Russian inspectors makes it impossible for them to carry out their tasks in the U.S.

Russia has been forced into this decision by the U.S. sanctions. Its consistent position has long been that New START must be held to and extended; the Ministry statement again called the treaty “the most important instrument for maintaining international security and stability.... We appreciate its unique role in providing the necessary transparency and predictability in relations between Russia and the United States in the critical nuclear and missile sphere.”

The Russian statement made clear that, when sanctions restrictions are lifted, the exemptions from inspection activities that the Foreign Ministry announced will be “immediately” cancelled.

The unilateral sanctions by the U.S. and its allies have made it impossible for Russian inspectors to come to the U.S., by blocking airspace to Russian passenger aircraft on which the inspectors would travel, they point out. “However, there are no such obstacles for American inspectors in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry raised this matter before corresponding countries, but has received no response.” The sanctions problems, “and other problems the sides are continuing exchanges on via corresponding channels, require solution, and it would be too early to resume inspection activities under the treaty, which the U.S. side is insisting on.

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