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Russia suspends US inspection of its nuclear facilities

Russia suspended this Monday (8) inspections of its nuclear facilities carried out by the United States under the START III treaty, which limits strategic weapons and expires in 2026.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that Moscow was forced to take this measure due to the “unilateral sanctions” adopted by the West as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, which prevent it from carrying out the inspections provided for in the treaty in American territory.

Moscow informed Washington this Monday, through the usual diplomatic channels, of its decision to “provisionally” suspend the inspections.

The official note argues that the US attitude does not take into account “the existing reality”, which ignores both parity and equality of rights stipulated by the last nuclear treaty between the two superpowers, a situation that it considers “unacceptable”.

Also, recalls that, due to the sanctions against Russia, there is no aerial communication normal with the US, in addition to the fact that its allies’ airspace is closed to Russian planes.

The same restrictions do not apply in relation to US inspectors, which is why the Russian side addressed their counterparty, but without receiving a response, as he specified.

If all these problems are not resolved, Russia warned, the START III inspection regime cannot be resumed, a step that would be “premature” .

Russia defends cooperation with the US in this area, although it has urged the White House not to force the resumption of nuclear inspections with counterproductive measures and to take into account the current reality, including the risks linked to the epidemic situation due to the recent increase in cases of Covid-19.

In addition to reinforcing that the suspension is provisional, something that the document allows, highlights that Moscow remains faithful to the treaty, which it considers a “very important instrument for the maintenance of stability and internal security”.

The announcement comes a week after US President Joe Biden proposed to Moscow immediate negotiations for the signing of a new nuclear treaty.

On the occasion, Biden warned that any negotiation “requires a partner willing to operate in good faith” and recalled that “Russia’s brutal and unjustified aggression in Ukraine has shaken peace in Europe and constitutes an attack against the fundamental principles of the international order” .

That same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that “in a nuclear war there can be no winners”.

Shortly after arriving at the White House in January 2021 and just ten days before the treaty expired, Biden agreed with the Russian president to renew the treaty also known as New START for another five years.

This latest disarmament treaty between the two countries limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons, with a maximum of 1.550 nuclear warheads and 700 systems

Recently, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, warned that the world is “just a misunderstanding or miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation”, which is why he demanded agreements between atomic powers to reduce this serious threat.

“Humanity is in danger of forgetting the lessons forged in the terrifying flames of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, declared Guterres.

In December of last year, the Kremlin set conditions for peaceful coexistence with the US, which included the signing of a new treaty that excludes the deployment of nuclear weapons outside its borders and the return to the silos of weapons already in place.

In an unprecedented proposal, rejected by the US, both parties would also commit to destroying existing infrastructure abroad, in addition to stopping nuclear tests and failing to instruct civilian and military experts from other countries.

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