US, NATO, EU 'concerned' about Russia decision to suspend New START
The NATO chief calls on Russia to reconsider its decision to suspend its participation in the New START treaty.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday considered Russia's decision to suspend a nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US, New START, was "deeply unfortunate and irresponsible" but said Washington remained willing to talk about the issue.
"We remain ready to talk about strategic arms limitations at any time with Russia, irrespective of anything else going on in the world or in our relationship," Blinken said after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow's suspension of its participation in the last remaining arms control treaty between the world's two main nuclear powers.
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NATO, EU regret Russia's suspension of New START
Echoing Blinken's statement, NATO chief and the EU's top diplomat warned Tuesday that Russia's suspension of the New START treaty with the United States marked the end of Europe's post-Cold War arms control architecture.
"I regret today's decision by Russia to suspend its participation in the New START treaty," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference with EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Stoltenberg claimed that "over the last years, Russia has violated and walked away from key arms control agreements. With today's decision on New START the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled."
"More nuclear weapons and less arms control makes the world more dangerous," he considered, calling on "Russia today to reconsider its decision to suspend its participation in the New START agreement. We have to remember that this is one of the last major arms control agreements we have."
On his part, Borrell said the Brussels meeting was a historic symbol of the West's unity and determination to protect Kiev, insisting that "Russia's announcement of suspending the New START treaty is another proof that what Russia is doing is just demolishing the security system that was built after the end of the Cold War."
On August 8, Moscow informed Washington that it is temporarily halting inspections at its facilities covered by the New START Treaty. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that Russia was forced to resort to such actions "due to Washington’s persistence in implicitly restarting inspections 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 soil."
US President Joe Biden had said that his administration is ready to negotiate a new arms control framework to replace the New START treaty with Russia upon its expiry in 2026.
It is noteworthy that Russia and the United States announced in February 2021 the entry into force of the decision to extend the START 3 Treaty on the Reduction of Strategic Offensive Arms for a period of five years.
The Treaty kept the two countries' nuclear arsenals at a much lower level than during the Cold War, as it set the number of installed strategic nuclear launchers at 700 and the number of nuclear warheads at 1,550.
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