US retaliates for Russia’s suspension of New START treaty by revoking nuclear inspectors’ visas

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OSLO, Norway — The Biden administration is retaliating for Russia’s suspension of the New START nuclear treaty, announcing Thursday that it is revoking Russian nuclear inspectors’ visas, denying applications for new inspectors and canceling routine permits for Russian aircraft to enter US airspace.

The State Department said it was taking these and other steps in response to Russia’s “continued violations” of New START, the last remaining arms control treaty between the two countries, which is currently in serious danger of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The United States is committed to fully and mutually implementing the New START treaty,” he said. “Consistent with that commitment, the United States has taken legal action in response to continued violations The Russian Federation on the New START treaty.

The department said the visa revocations and denials of applications, as well as the US decision to stop sharing information about the status or locations of missiles and telemetry data on test launches with Russia, were in accordance with a law between -national because of Russia’s actions.

The US, however, will continue to notify Russia when it launches tests, it said, adding that the measures it was taking were reversed during the Moscow will return to compliance with the treaty.

Russia suspended its participation in New START in February in a move that the US said was “legally invalid.” Immediately after that Moscow stopped adhering to the treaty.

Authorizing inspections of military sites and providing information on intercontinental ballistic missile placement and test launches are critical components of New START, which then-Head Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev signed it in 2010.

In March, the US announced that it and Russia had stopped sharing biannual nuclear weapons data. The US had said it wanted to continue such sharing but stopped after Moscow told Washington it would not share its data.

Despite being extended shortly after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, New START has been heavily tested by Russia’s war in Ukraine and has been ‘ on life support since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would no longer comply with its requirements.

The treaty limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The agreement calls for extensive on-site inspections to verify compliance.

The studies went dormant in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Talks about bringing them back were supposed to take place in November 2022, but Russia abruptly stopped them, citing US support for Ukraine.

The State Department said that Russia was informed of the countermeasures in advance and also advised that Washington still has an interest in keeping the agreement alive.

“The United States remains ready to work constructively with Russia to re-implement the New START Treaty,” he said.

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