Republicans Push to Verify Russia’s Compliance with Nuclear Treaty

Moscow’s refusal to hold talks on New Start amid Ukraine war raises concerns for future arms control

The Republican heads of three US congressional committees have asked the Biden administration to determine whether Russia is complying with New Start amid concerns that the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty may be in jeopardy.

The chairs of the House armed services, foreign affairs and intelligence committees have sought a determination by January 31, according to a letter obtained by the Financial Times sent to secretary of state Antony Blinken, defence secretary Lloyd Austin and director of national intelligence Avril Haines.

The congressional concern was triggered by Russia’s decision last year to suspend New Start inspections and its subsequent refusal to participate in consultations required under the treaty to support its implementation. It also comes amid fears that Russian president Vladimir Putin could use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, and as disquiet mounts about China’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal.

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Source: Financial Times