Russia, U.S. Halt Inspections Under New Start Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Russia and the United States have suspended bilateral inspection missions within the framework of the New START treaty on reduction of strategic nuclear arms, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association Daryl Kimball has told TASS.

“The United States and Russia agreed to suspend on-site inspections under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty until May 1,” Kimball said.

Moscow and Washington also agreed to postpone the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) meeting, scheduled for March, due to the pandemic, the leading US expert said, citing diplomatic and Congressional sources.

The BCC was established to implement the New START’s goals and provisions. The Treaty implies that the sides should hold inspections of two types. Under the protocol, each party has an annual allotment of 18 inspections. The sides are authorized to conduct inspections, including at the bases of inter-continental ballistic missiles, submarines and air bases, TASS adds.

According to Kimball, Russia and the US agreed to “keep their full allotments of inspections and intend to conduct two BCC meetings this year, as called for by the treaty.”

“Treaty-related information and notification that would have been exchanged at the BCC meeting will be conducted through regular diplomatic channels instead,” he noted.

The Arms Control Association, which is led by Kimball, was founded in 1971. Headquartered in Washington D.C., this is a national nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

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