by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Amid already heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over US military assistance to Ukraine, the US State Department on Tuesday accused Moscow of canceling talks and failing to allow nuclear inspections in compliance with New START, the only nuclear arms control treaty remaining between the two countries, i24NEWS reports.
In answering a question from Congress, the State Department did not go so far as to say Russia had increased the number of nuclear warheads beyond the limits allowed by New START but nevertheless said Moscow is undermining the arms control agreement.
“Russia is not complying with its obligation under the New START Treaty to facilitate inspection activities on its territory,” a State Department spokesperson said. “Russia has a clear path for returning to full compliance.”
“All Russia needs to do is allow inspection activities on its territory, just as it did for years under the New START Treaty, and meet in a session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission,” the spokesperson said, in reference to official talks provided for in the treaty. “There is nothing preventing Russian inspectors from traveling to the United States and conducting inspections.”
Russia announced in August that it was suspending US New START inspections of its military sites because it claimed the US had blocked Russian inspections of its own facilities. Washington, however, has denied Russia’s accusation.
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