Russia denounces U.S. for undermining New START treaty

The United States, by its actions, has undermined the principles of implementing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

Zakharova made the remarks on Sputnik Radio in response to the U.S. allegation that Russia violated the New START. The U.S. State Department on Tuesday faulted Russia for suspending inspections. 

Zakharova said that Moscow remains committed to the treaty but does not see the same commitment from Washington.

"Do I need to remind, within the framework of the indivisibility of security, cooperation and everything written here, how the United States unilaterally withdrew from a huge number of agreements, how they were engaged in the so-called containment of Russia behind its back?" She asked.

In early August, Russia officially informed the U.S. that it was temporarily withdrawing its facilities subject to inspections under this treaty from inspection activities. It said it was responding to American obstruction of inspections by Russia, a charge denied by Washington.

Earlier Wednesday, Russia's ambassador to the United States said Moscow has been "irreproachably observing" the accord and would continue to do so.

"Responsibility for the escalation of the New START issues lie entirely with Washington," ambassador Anatoly Antonov said in a statement on the embassy's Facebook page.

The New START, the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between the two nuclear superpowers, can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries. Russia and the United States officially extended the treaty by five years on February 3, 2021.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: A Russian army RS-24 Yars ballistic missile system moves through the Red Square during a military parade in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020. /CFP)

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