Several US lawmakers on Thursday urged the Biden administration to scrap the last nuclear arms control treaty with Russia after Moscow suspended its participation in February.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin would not allow US inspections of its nuclear sites after Washington began supporting and arming Ukraine.
According to the US, the treaty places “verifiable limits” on all Russian-deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons. It was extended to 2026 by the Biden administration.
“Treaties aren’t effective when one party lies and cheats. We’ve seen evidence for the last decade that Russia is no longer honoring its obligations under the New START Treaty,” Senator Marco Rubio said after a group of Republican senators introduced the “No START Treaty Act.”
Rubio called it “irresponsible and dangerous” for Washington to unilaterally limit itself in the face of growing hostility abroad, namely from China.
On Monday, under its obligation in the treaty and despite previously vowing to stop sharing this information, the US publicly released data on its nuclear arsenal and urged Russia to reciprocate.
The top Republican senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the new legislation would correct the US mistakes by conditioning future arms control agreements with Russia to include all classes of nuclear weapons as well as China.
“We must be prepared for a strategic environment in which the United States faces two nuclear peers – China and Russia,” Senator Jim Risch said.
Meanwhile, Senator Tom Cotton slammed the Biden administration for extending the treaty and said the US should bolster its nuclear forces. “The New START Treaty handcuffed America while Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of the treaty’s flaws for years,” Cotton said.
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