WASHINGTON, August 12. /TASS/. The US administration remains committed to implementing the Russian-US nuclear arms reduction treaty known as New START, a Department of State spokesperson has told reporters.
"The US is committed to implementation of the New START Treaty. And as President Biden has said, today perhaps more than any other time since the Cold War, we must work to reduce the risk of an arms race or nuclear escalation. We keep discussions between the parties concerning treaty implementation confidential," said Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the Bureau of Global Public Affairs.
In his words, Washington expects inspections under the agreement to resume soon.
"I will reiterate what I said previously, is that we will continue to exercise our on-site inspection rights under the New START treaty will also prioritizing the health and safety of personnel conducting and hosting inspection activities," the spokesman continued.
"We look forward to continuing to implement this important treaty with the Russian Federation. It is an important instrument of stability in the bilateral relationship," he added.
Exchange of information
According to Patel, Washington and Moscow keep exchanging information under the New START.
"The US and Russia had paused inspection activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the spring of 2020. Both sides have continued to provide data declarations and notifications in accordance to the treaty," the State Department official said.
"We keep discussions between the parties concerning treaty implementation confidential," he told reporters, quoting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as saying that the New START "makes the US, Russia, and the world safer by preserving verified restrictions on our strategic nuclear arsenals and avoiding an arms race."
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.