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Written by SOT.COM.AL 2 Shkurt 2023
The United States says Russia is violating the New START Treaty, the last nuclear weapons treaty between the two countries. In August, Russia suspended inspections of its nuclear facilities as required by the treaty.
The "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists" last week moved the hands of its symbolic clock to show how close humanity is to self-destruction. The organization cited Russian aggression in Ukraine, nuclear tensions and climate change as the main reasons.
The State Department says Russia is violating the New START Treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads the United States and Russia can deploy via land-based, sea-launched missiles and bombers.
The United States says Russia is not allowing inspections of its facilities, as required by the treaty. But State Department spokesman Vedant Patel says Russia could easily go back on implementing the deal.
"There is a clear path to return (to the agreement). What Russia needs to do is allow inspections on its territory, as it has done for years under the New START treaty, and attend the bilateral consultative commission meeting. Nothing prevents Russian inspectors from coming to the United States and conducting inspections."
Russian officials have blamed the United States, emphasizing Washington's support for Kiev as Ukraine faces Russian aggression. In August, the Kremlin suspended US inspections of Russian nuclear facilities. But on the other hand, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that
Russia still wants to be part of the treaty.
"No matter how sad the current situation is, we can speculate about the future. We consider the continuation of this treaty very important. At the moment it is not applicable, but maybe in the future. Otherwise, the United States has actually destroyed the legal framework."
Richard Weitz, director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, told VOA that there are several reasons why Moscow may be violating the treaty.
"At best, Russia is trying to seek additional concessions from the United States, perhaps to inspect more American systems. At worst, Russia is holding the strategic arms control process hostage to its aggression in Ukraine."
Russia has also refused to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, fueling global fears of a nuclear catastrophe./VOA