NATO urges Russia to respect nuclear pact with US
Brussels, Feb 4 (IANS) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has called on Russia to respect its treaty with the US on nuclear weapons, which contributes to international stability.
NATO ambassadors said in a statement that "we note with concern that Russia has failed to comply with legally-binding obligations under the New START Treaty", Xinhua news agency reported.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed by Russia and the US in 2010. 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 US officially extended the treaty by five years on February 3, 2021.
The ambassadors said that Russia's refusal to hold consultations or to allow US inspections since last August "prevents the US from exercising important rights under the treaty, and undermines the US' ability to adequately verify Russian compliance with the treaty's central limits."
"We call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under the treaty by facilitating New START inspections on Russian territory, and by returning to participation in the treaty's implementation body," NATO said.
Earlier this week, Moscow accused the United States of undermining the principles of implementing the treaty. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Moscow remains committed to the treaty but does not see the same commitment from Washington.
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