US nuclear weapons inspectors are not welcome in Russia

Biden maakt plannen bekend voor corona-aanpak VS

Russia suspended an important part of its nuclear arms control agreements with the United States. US inspectors who are required to monitor compliance with the Initiation Treaty on nuclear warheads are barred from entering Russia for the time being.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Western sanctions had prevented Russian inspectors from traveling to the United States. This creates “unilateral benefits for the United States and in practice deprives the Russian Federation of the right to conduct inspections on American soil.” According to the ministry, Russia still feels fully compliant with all provisions of the treaty. This is the first time that Russia has suspended inspections, but this decision should be considered a “temporary measure”.

An update of the Treaty on the Initiation of Nuclear Weapons Control entered into force in 2011 and was extended for five years at the beginning of last year. The two countries are obligated to limit the number of operational warheads to 1,550. One way to verify this is to send inspectors back and forth. Another way is to notify each other when nuclear weapons are being transferred.

Rose Gottemoeller, former US Secretary of State for arms control and international security, referred to the British magazine Watchman Note that the number of reports has increased in recent months. “It appears that the Russians, or at least the Russian nuclear units, are eager to continue compliance, for the sake of predictability and mutual trust,” she said.

President Biden said Monday that the United States wants to talk about a new version of the initiation treaty, but Russia’s delegation to the United Nations says the United States is slowing down the talks.

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