US says Russia’s suspension of New START is “legally invalid”

US says Russia's suspension of New START is "legally invalid"

March 16 () –

The United States has claimed that Russia’s suspension of its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is “legally invalid,” stressing that the US response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not relieve the Kremlin of responsibility to comply. its obligations in the treaty.

“Russia’s non-compliance with the New START Treaty and its alleged suspension of the treaty are unfortunate and irresponsible steps,” the US State Department said in a statement, noting that mutual compliance with the treaty strengthens global security.

For this reason, and after indicating that Russia’s suspension is “legally invalid”, Washington has reminded Moscow that it continues to be obliged to allow inspections on nuclear weapons, to notify each movement of its nuclear forces, or to meet in the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC).

In this sense, the Department of State has assured that, although Russia has not had significant activity above what is stipulated in the treaty in 2022, “the fact that Russia does not allow inspections and provide notifications degrades the ability of the United States to assess Russian nuclear deployments”.

For this reason, he has reminded Russia that it can “easily remedy” its breach by resuming the activities it carried out for years under the treaty: conducting inspections, meeting at the BCC and providing notifications and data.

The Russian government announced at the end of February that all information exchanges under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) were suspended, in line with the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to freeze the participation of Moscow in the pact.

Washington and Moscow extended START in 2021 for a period of five years. The treaty seeks to limit the deployment of intercontinental nuclear weapons by both parties, allowing frequent checks of each country’s programs by the other. The agreement allows Washington and Moscow to deploy up to 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 1,550 nuclear warheads on those missiles.

If the treaty is terminated or expires without renewal, the nuclear arsenals of the world’s two largest nuclear powers would be unconstrained for the first time since the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, and neither side would be able to control the arsenal of the contrary.

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