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Thursday December 08, 2022

Russia suspends inspections under START treaty with US

By AFP
August 09, 2022

MOSCOW: Russia said on Monday it had notified Washington it was suspending on-site inspections under a strategic arms reduction treaty with the United States.

The Russian foreign ministry said facilities that are subject to inspections under the New START treaty will be "temporarily" exempt from such inspections.Moscow cited “anti-Russian unilateral restrictive measures” imposed by the US and its allies, such as visa restrictions on Russian inspectors and a ban on Russian aircraft in US and EU airspace. These restrictions effectively make Russian inspections under the treaty impossible, while Americans “do not experience such difficulties.”

“The Russian Federation is now forced to resort to this measure as a result of Washington’s persistent desire to implicitly achieve a restart of inspection activities on conditions that do not take into account existing realities, create unilateral advantages for the United States and effectively deprive the Russian Federation of the right to carry out inspections on American soil,” the foreign ministry said.

Russia “raised this issue with the relevant countries, but did not receive an answer.” Until these problems are resolved, “it would be premature to resume inspection activities under the START Treaty, on which the American side insists.”

As justification for the measure, Moscow cited cited the relevant section of the treaty protocol that covers extraordinary circumstances. Washington has been officially informed through diplomatic channels.

“We would like to emphasize that the measures we have taken are temporary. Russia is fully committed to complying with all the provisions of the START Treaty, which in our eyes is the most important instrument for maintaining international security and stability,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

As soon as the “existing problematic issues” are resolved, the inspections can resume again in full, according to Moscow. Russia proclaimed its readiness to continue talks with other governments about the treaty and held out the possibility of reversing the suspension in “a fairly short space of time” if events warranted. The treaty does not contain a provision for suspension, only withdrawal.

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