Moscow welcomes the implementation of the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START) and does not plan to change its position. This was announced on Wednesday, February 1, by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov.
“Russia remains committed to the goals of the START, continues to consider it a useful tool in the field of strategic stability and ensuring predictability in relations between the largest nuclear powers,” he said in the Telegram channel of the Russian diplomatic mission.
Antonov stressed that for the first time Washington’s claims concern the fulfillment by the Russian side of its obligations under the START, which, however, has been and remains irreproachable.
The ambassador saw the reason for such a sharp change of mood in the “rabid confrontation” between the West and the Russian Federation. At the same time, acting as the accuser, the States ignore their own actions that impede the maintenance of the balance of arms.
Thus, according to the Russian representative, the escalation around the nuclear agreement lies entirely with the United States because of the desire to achieve a strategic defeat of the opponent. The Russian Federation, in turn, does not refuse to comply with the restrictions under the START and is ready to continue the exchange of notifications and data.
In addition, Antonov commented on the temporary withdrawal of Russian facilities from the inspection regime and the refusal to hold a Bilateral Consultative Commission.
“We have repeatedly pointed out to Washington that <...> that arms control cannot be isolated from geopolitical realities. Under the current conditions, we consider it unjustified, untimely and inappropriate to invite the US military to our strategic facilities,” he explained.
A day earlier, Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev pointed to the unfairness of the State Department’s statement about Moscow’s violation of the START provisions. He explained his position by the fact that the United States was the first to provoke the crisis by creating conditions for its own unilateral inspection powers.
The day before, The Wall Street Journal, citing a report by the US Foreign Ministry, reported that, according to Washington, the blocking of inspections by the American side is contrary to existing agreements in the field of nuclear weapons.
Prior to that, on January 30, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia was following the New START instructions, while the United States, meanwhile, was violating the treaty’s preamble, which refers to the indivisibility of security, by carrying out frontal-aggressive containment of Moscow.