USA accused this Tuesday Russia of breach the New STARTthe last nuclear treaty between both countries.
Joe Biden was the one who carried out the accusation in a report that the State Department sent to Congress and in which he realized the status of the agreement. In the document, the US President detailed, among other things, that Moscow did not allow its technicians to enter Russian territory to make the necessary visits.
Due to the paralysis generated throughout the world by the coronavirus pandemic, the nuclear weapons inspections on the ground were paused in 2020. However, with the return to normality, the United States tried to resume these important visits that, again, were disrupted in 2022 by the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and travel limitations between the countries.
Faced with these failed attempts to resume what was agreed, the Biden government formally accused Russia of not cooperating and breaching the treaty.
The State Department explained, in turn, that Russia’s refusal to inspect constitutes a “threat” to the United States’ ability to exercise some of the arms control rights contemplated in New START. Especially, they specified, “Threatens the viability of the US-Russia arms control system”.
On the other hand, the United States denounced other breaches by the Kremlin outside of these visits. It is the celebration of a bilateral commission on the treaty that is also part of the obligations listed in the document.
In this regard, Russia has argued that the conditions are not given for holding the meetings of that bilateral commission and points against the rhetoric and actions of the United States, which has positioned itself in the last year as the largest arms supplier to Ukraine. In this sense, Moscow accuses Biden of a constant provocation.
Prior to this complaint, this Tuesday the United States and Russia had resumed contacts regarding arms control with meetings in Moscow, although it could be an unsuccessful rapprochement given that, this Monday, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Ryabkov, told the state news agency ESTUARY that Moscow may consider withdrawing from the nuclear arms control treaty in 2026.
“It’s quite a possible scenario.”, he commented on the threats not to extend the START given the “strategic defeat” to which – he considers – the United States leads his country in Ukraine.
The New START treaty was signed in 2010 and extended by others five years in 2021. The then presidents Barack Obama Y Dmitry Medvedev agreed on the need for this document that limits the number of long-range nuclear warheads that both the United States and Russia can have deployed. This figure was agreed at 1,550.
Likewise, the number of vehicles and launch systems that both countries can have deployed and in reserve was restricted.
In any case, the key to the treaty lies in another clause, coincidentally the one denounced by Biden. The document established a verification regime that allows to ensure that these limits are being respected by both signatory parties.
Thus, both the United States and Russia can carry out up to 18 inspections per year over each other’s nuclear arsenals hardly giving the host country time to prepare. The technicians must announce 32 hours before their arrival at their destination and, once there, communicate the site to be examined. It must be respected by the receiving authorities.
(With information from EFE and Reuters)
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