Russia alludes to a “US provocation” as a reason for the suspension of inspections at military facilities

MADRID, Aug. 9 (.) –

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Serguei Riabkov, has explained that the reason that prompted Moscow to suspend inspections of its military installations, as contemplated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), was the notification of a review by the United States.

“The immediate ‘trigger’ (of Russia’s decision) was the notification received from the US side of the intention to carry out an inspection on our territory in the coming days,” explained Riabkov, who considers that “in the current circumstances, such movement seemed like an absolute provocation”.

The Russian representative recalled that the supervision of the facilities has been suspended since January 2020, when Moscow and Washington reached an agreement within the framework of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, as stated by the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement. .

In addition, the parties have been immersed in talks to iron out the rough edges that have arisen to resume inspections, something that, however, has been affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the response of the international community to this war, ordered by the president. Russian, Vladimir Putin.

Among these new problems that have arisen since last February is “the lack of normality in air traffic”, problems in granting visas, difficulties in making payments for services during inspections, among other aspects highlighted by Russia.

“All of this complicates, if not blocks, our ability to conduct unimpeded inspections on US soil and creates unilateral advantages for the US side. This is, of course, unacceptable,” Deputy Minister Ryabkov criticized.

At this point, the Russian side has indicated that it brought to the attention of the United States these problems faced by its inspection teams. In fact, Moscow has recognized that at first the negotiations were moving towards a good outcome, however, the US authorities “thought differently and went to an unreasonable and unnecessary escalation” when announcing this latest review.

“We urge the United States to refrain from counterproductive actions that do not serve the cause and to continue close cooperation to resume the inspection activities provided for by the Treaty as soon as possible on a realistic and equitable basis. This would be in the interest of both parties”, has Riabkov settled.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday the temporary exclusion of its facilities from the inspections provided for in the START Treaty, signed with the United States in 1991 by the then US and Soviet leaders, George HW Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, respectively.

The agreement, for now in force for an extension signed in 2021, expires in 2026. The current president of the United States, Joe Biden, has shown himself willing to negotiate a new arms control framework to replace the current one.

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