Russia suspends compliance with New START


Russia officially informed the US on Aug. 8 that it is “temporarily” suspending on-site inspections of its strategic nuclear weapons, a condition of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Moscow accused Washington of seeking “to create unilateral advantages” and deprive Russia of “the right to carry out inspections on American soil” through the closure of air space to Russian planes and visa restrictions on Russian officials. The suspension comes a week after President Joe Biden said he was ready to work on a new nuclear arms deal with Vladimir Putin. New START, set to expire in 2026, is the last remaining arms pact between the US and Russia. The 2010 agreement limits the US and Russia to 1,550 deployed long-range nuclear missiles each. (BBC News, Al Jazeera)

Photo: Russian SS-27 missile, via SIPRI

  1. Yet another Russian nuclear threat

    Amid the recent paroxysm of nuclear threats from Russian political figures, the latest was somewhat veiled and equivocal.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) conference in New York, Russian diplomat Alexander Trofimov said speculation that Moscow has threatened to use its nuclear arsenal against Ukraine is “utterly unfounded, detached from reality and unacceptable.” He asserted that Russia would only use nuclear weapons “in response to weapons of mass destruction or a conventional weapons attack that threatened the existence of the Russian state… None of these two hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine.”

    However, he went on to accuse NATO countries of a “fierce hybrid confrontation” against Russia that now “dangerously balances on the edge of an open military clash.”

    “Such a move would be able to trigger one of the two emergency scenarios described in our doctrine,” Trofimov added. “We obviously stand for preventing this, but if western countries try to test our resolve, Russia will not back down.” (The Independent)