NATO has called on Russia to comply with the New START nuclear treaty to preserve international stability.
In a statement issued on Friday by the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest decision-making body, the military alliance expressed concern over Russia's failure to comply with "legally-binding obligations” under the New START treaty.
Signed in 2010 and extended in 2021 for another five years, the treaty aims to control and reduce strategic nuclear forces used by the US and Russia.
According to NATO’s statement, Russia’s refusal to hold a meeting of the treaty’s implementation body and to facilitate US inspection since August “prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the Treaty".
NATO stressed that effective arms control contributes to international stability and security, and urged Russia to fulfil its obligations by allowing checks and participating in the work of the implementation committee.
“We call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty by facilitating New START inspections on Russian territory, and by returning to participation in the Treaty’s implementation body,” the forum in which the two sides could consult, NATO said.
“The New START Treaty remains in the national security interest of all states, including NATO Allies,” the statement underlined.
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President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly ramped up his nuclear rhetoric since he ordered Russian troops into Ukraine almost a year ago, raising concern among Western allies and the public over whether he might actually use such weapons.
The US-Russia committee formed under the treaty last met in October 2021, but Russia unilaterally suspended its cooperation with the pact’s inspection provisions in August 2022 to protest US support for Ukraine.
Inspections of US and Russian military sites under the New START treaty were paused by both sides because of the spread of the coronavirus in March 2020.
The US State Department warned Tuesday that “Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of US-Russian nuclear arms control.”
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