| 13 July 2024, Saturday |

Russia suspends START arms inspections over U.S. travel curbs

Because of travel restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies, Russia informed the US on Monday that it would not allow its weapons to be inspected under the START nuclear arms limitation pact for the time being.

The inspection criteria imposed by Washington resulted in “unilateral benefits for the United States and essentially deprive the Russian Federation of the ability to conduct inspections on American soil,” according to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia was fully committed to implementing all of the treaty’s requirements, it stressed.

As part of a barrage of sanctions issued in reaction to Russia’s decision to send armed forces into Ukraine in February, the United States and its allies, notably Britain and the European Union, blocked their airspace to Russian flights.

The New START Treaty, which entered into force in 2011, limits the amount of strategic nuclear warheads that the US and Russia may deploy, as well as the number of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that can deliver them.

Last Monday, US Vice President Joe Biden stated that his government was ready to “expeditiously” develop a framework to replace New START, which is set to expire in 2026, provided Moscow indicated its desire to begin nuclear arms control negotiations.

However, Russia’s UN mission stated that Washington had withdrawn from separate discussions with Moscow on strategic stability in the Ukraine war and that it needed to clarify what it wanted.

The next day, the Kremlin warned that time was running short to reach an agreement to replace New START, putting world security at danger. more info

Political tensions in Ukraine have reached heights not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, with officials in both Russia and the United States explicitly warning of the threat of World War Three.

Moscow claims it was obligated to interfere in Ukraine to protect Russian-speaking citizens and prevent a Western threat to use Ukraine to undermine Russia’s security. According to Kiev and its Western backers, these are bogus pretexts for an imperial-style territory grab.

  • Reuters