US State Department officials have informed Congress it considers Russia in violation of the New START treaty, the only remaining nuclear agreement between the two nations because it’s blocking inspections within its borders, ABC News reports.
Signed and ratified in 2011, New START allows for up to 18 in-person on-site inspections of facilities to ensure the parties are complying with the limits on nuclear arms produced. Combined with satellite and remote monitoring–the US runs radiation detection stations at allied nations along the Russian border including Ukraine–the New START treaty was meant to continue bilateral cooperation initiated in the original START treaty signed in 1991 and extended in a series of other agreements.
“Russia is not complying with its obligation under the New START Treaty to facilitate inspection activities on its territory,” a State Department statement said. “Russia’s refusal to facilitate inspection activities prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and threatens the viability of U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control.”