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US says Russia violated New START nuclear arms control treaty Home > Exporting Countries > US says Russia violated New START nuclear arms control treaty

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The United States on Tuesday accused Russia of violating New START, the last major element of nuclear arms control between the two countries since the end of the Cold War, saying Moscow refused to allow inspections on its soil.
The treaty entered into force in 2011 and was extended for another five years in 2021. It limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads the US and Russia can deploy, as well as the land- and submarine-launched missiles and bombers they deploy to deliver them.
The two countries, bound by a series of arms control agreements during the Cold War, still together own about 90% of the world's nuclear warheads.
Washington has been keen to keep the deal alive, but relations with Moscow are now at their worst in decades due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which could complicate the efforts of President Joe Biden's administration to maintain and secure a follow-up deal.
"Russia's refusal to cooperate with inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control," a State Department spokesman said in an emailed comment.
The head of the US Senate National Security Committee, which is due to ratify the treaty, said Moscow's failure to comply with the terms would affect future arms agreements.
“But it is clear that the commitment to abide by the New START treaty is critical to any future strategic arms control with Moscow that the Senate is considering,” said Democratic Senators Bob Menendez, Jack Reid and Mark Warner. "
Menendez chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Reid chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Warner chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Moscow suspended cooperation on inspections under the treaty in August, blaming Washington and its allies for travel restrictions imposed after Russian troops invaded neighboring Ukraine last February, but said it remains committed to upholding the terms of the treaty.
The State Department spokesman added that Russia had a "clean path" to return to compliance by allowing inspections, and that Washington remains willing to work with Russia to fully implement the treaty.
"New START remains in the national security interest of the United States," the spokesman said.
Negotiations between Moscow and Washington to resume New START inspections, originally scheduled for November in Egypt, have been postponed by Russia, with neither side setting a new date.
On Monday, Russia told the United States that the treaty could expire in 2026 without replacement as it said Washington was trying to inflict a "strategic failure" on Moscow in Ukraine.
Asked if Moscow could envisage no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the new state Russian intelligence agency: "That's a very likely scenario."
Since the invasion, the United States has provided more than $27 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including more than 1,600 Stinger air defense systems, 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missile systems, and 1 million rounds of 155mm artillery pieces.
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