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US remarks about New START have nothing to do with real causes of this crisis — diplomats

On Thursday, the US Department of State claimed that "the Russian Federation’s purported suspension of the New START Treaty is legally invalid"

WASHINGTON, June 2. /TASS/. The US administration’s remarks about Russia’s non-compliance with the New START treaty have nothing to do with the real reasons behind the current crisis around the agreement, the Russian Embassy in the United States said on Wednesday.

"We have noted the fact sheets on New START published by the State Department on June 1st which reiterate accusations of Russian violation of the Treaty," the embassy said in a statement, posted on its Telegram channel. "We once again emphasize that US statements have nothing to do with the real causes of the crisis around the agreement."

"We have repeatedly explained in public fora and through diplomatic channels the reasons for Russia's suspension of its participation in the Treaty. We have provided exhaustive legal justification for our decision, which is fully consistent with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The Administration's stubborn refusal to recognize the supremacy of international law is quite telling. Legal voluntarism has always been characteristic of Washington," Russian diplomats said.

The US Department of State claimed on Thursday that "the Russian Federation’s purported suspension of the New START Treaty is legally invalid." "As a result, Russia remains bound by its New START Treaty obligations, and is violating the treaty by failing to fulfill many of those obligations," it said.

According to a statement, issued by the department on Thursday, the US authorities will stop providing Russia with information about its strategic weapons that fall under the New START treaty starting from June 1 and will revoke visas issued to Russian specialists who were to inspect US facilities in line with the agreement. It will also stop providing telemetric information on launches of US intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

Washington and Moscow inked the document, officially known as the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty), in 2010. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into force, each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on them, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The deal was to expire on February 5, 2021, but Russia and the US extended the treaty for a maximum period of five years in February 2021.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was suspending its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) but is not withdrawing from it. The president stressed that before returning to the discussion of the extension of the New START treaty, the Russian side wants to understand how the treaty will take into account not only the United States’ arsenals but also stockpiles of other NATO nuclear powers, namely the United Kingdom and France. On March 1, the president signed a law on the suspension of Russia’s participation in the New START.