US defends its right to inspect Russian nuclear facilities

Washington, Aug. 11 The United States on Thursday defended its right to inspect Russian nuclear facilities under the New Start bilateral treaty, after Russia announced the temporary suspension of US registrations at its plants.

“We will continue to exercise our right to inspect ‘on site’ under the New Start treaty,” said State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel in a telephone press conference.

Patel said inspections of US and Russian nuclear facilities were suspended in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the two countries have continued to share information under the treaty.

The deputy spokesman claimed that said treaty “is an important instrument of stability” that makes both the United States and Russia and the rest of the world “safer.”

Russia announced last Monday the temporary suspension of inspections of its facilities by the US, which it justified by assuring that the sanctions imposed on the country due to the invasion of Ukraine are preventing it from carrying out inspections on US territory.

Faced with this situation, the UN asked the United States and Russia on Tuesday to resolve their differences and warned that this situation occurs at a time of special tension.

The New Start treaty limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons of each country, with a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 ballistic systems, and was renewed for five years shortly after the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House.

The US president proposed this month to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to begin negotiating “immediately” a new treaty to replace the New Start, which expires in 2026. EFE


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