New Start Treaty: Russia Suspends US Inspections Of Its Military Sites

New Start Treaty: Russia Suspends US Inspections Of Its Military Sites

Vladimir Putin talks with the governor of the Bolgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, on August 8, 2022 in the Moscow Kremlin. Vladimir Putin talks with the governor of the Bolgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov at the Moscow Kremlin on August 8, 2022. MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / AP

Russia announced Monday, Aug. 8, that it would suspend planned American inspections of its military sites under the New Start Treaty, a key nuclear disarmament agreement between the two powers, to ensure it similarly responds to American obstacles to Russian inspections how the United States reacts United.

Russia “officially informed” the United States on Monday that all of its sites subject to New Start inspections are “temporarily exempted,” Russian diplomacy said in a statement. These include missile launch bases and air and naval bases that use nuclear missiles.

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This announcement comes amid a Russian offensive in Ukraine that has been underway since February 24 and as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to praise the new “invincible” weapons Russia is developing. “The Russian Federation is obliged to take this measure (…) because of the existing realities that give the United States unilateral advantages and deprive Russia of its right to carry out inspections on American territory,” the statement specifies. Russian diplomacy specifically points to travel restrictions for Russian inspectors and difficulties in obtaining visas caused by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

“American inspectors and crew members on their planes do not face similar difficulties,” the statement said.

In normal times about twenty mutual inspections per year

However, Russia “greatly appreciates the unique role” of the treaty in Moscow-Washington nuclear relations, he stresses. Once issues related to resuming inspections under the treaty are resolved, Russia will reverse its decision announced on Monday “immediately,” Russian diplomacy says.

The United States refrained from criticizing this announcement. Washington respects the New Start treaty, “but we keep discussions between the parties about the application of the treaty confidential,” a State Department spokesman told Agence France-Presse (AFP). “Principles of reciprocity, predictability and stability will continue to guide the United States’ approach,” he added.

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The New Start Treaty is the latest bilateral agreement of its kind, linking the world’s two largest nuclear powers. Signed in 2010, it limits the arsenals of the two countries to a maximum of 1,550 deployed warheads each, a reduction of almost 30% compared to the previous limit of 2002. It also limits the number of launchers and heavy bombers to 800, which is still enough to destroy the earth many times over. Vladimir Putin extended it by five years to 2026 in January 2021. So far, under this treaty, Moscow and Washington have each had the right to conduct slightly fewer than twenty mutual inspections annually.

The world with AFP