UNITED NATIONS, August 10. /TASS/. Moscow does not expect Washington to react promptly to Russia’s decision to temporarily suspend inspections at its facilities under the New START treaty, a high-ranking Russian diplomat told reporters on Tuesday.
"Clearly, it is the first time that something of this kind has happened. This mechanism was never used before. We made use of a right that we are entitled to under the treaty," Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Igor Vishnevetsky said.
"Now, mutual discussions are to take place, to be followed by some kind of reaction from the United States. I don’t expect it to be quick: they will need to study everything thoroughly and to gain understanding of what they are willing to do next," the diplomat added.
According to Vishnevetsky, the United States is very likely to examine the matter from the legal standpoint.
"I do not expect the US to react immediately. They will have to study and comprehend everything, including with the participation of their law experts. Issues of this kind - in particular, implementation of various treaties - have to undergo a certain legal review," the diplomat added.
According to Vishnevetsky, experts of Russia and the United States are yet to discuss the issue of inspections. The matter is subject to bilateral talks, he added.
"It is a technical issue. Before engaging in a wide and public discussion on the matter, it should be reviewed by those who specialize in the treaty and inspections. There are quite a few nuances," Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Igor Vishnevetsky said.
"Our position has been worked out thoroughly from the legal point of view. Our proposals are envisaged by the treaty, without details on reasons for suspending those activities. This is a subject for our experts to discuss with the Americans," he said.
The diplomat sees a certain degree of inequality in how the sides are implementing the deal.
"Indeed, we are in a situation of inequality. Our inspectors have been unable to travel via Europe, they are not given an opportunity to obtain transit visas, and our planes are prohibited from entering the airspace. We, on our part, have so far introduced no restrictions of this kind against the United States," he said.
On Tuesday, Russia informed the United States that it was temporarily pausing inspections at its facilities covered by the New START treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that Moscow was forced to resort to such actions "due to Washington's persistent wish to implicitly restart inspection activities on conditions that do not take into account the existing realities, create unilateral advantages for the United States and actually strip Russia of the right to carry out inspections on US territory."
According to the ministry, the Russian side wants to ensure operation of all New START mechanisms in strict compliance with the principles of the parity and equality of the sides. These principles are not observed now because normal air service between Russia and the United States has been interrupted due to the unilateral anti-Russian sanctions, and the airspace over a number of states has been closed for Russian planes that are to take Russian inspection teams to the United States. The ministry also emphasized that Russia is fully committed to complying with all provisions of the Treaty.