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Russia Improperly Eliminating Nukes, Violating Treaty With US

REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Russia is violating the NEW Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by improperly eliminating elements of their nuclear arsenal, American defense officials told the Free Beacon.

U.S. technicians reportedly found components of the SS-25 missile system unbolted rather than cut. Cutting the components is the only way to permanently dismantle the machine and render it unusable per the agreement in the NEW START treaty.

Russia has a demonstrable pattern of violating its nuclear agreements. The State Department in June 2014 issued a statement alleging Russia had violated its agreements to “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” an inter-continental ballistic missile. In 2015 the State Department confirmed Russia remained in violation.

“New START Treaty implementation is proceeding well and both the United States and Russia are expected to meet the Treaty’s central limits when they take effect in February 2018,” Anita Freidt the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Strategic Policy said on June 2.

“They’re basically cutting up launchers that don’t carry missiles anyway,” one official told the Free Beacon, in stark contrast to Ms. Freidt’s earlier statement, when describing a tactic Russia uses to appear in compliance to American inspectors.

The U.S. is finding it difficult to confront Russia over the violations. Arms negotiations between the U.S. and Russia have been suspended since the Russian annexation of Ukrainian Crimea. “The New START treaty forbids releasing to the public data and information obtained during implementation of the treaty,” State Department Spokesman Blake Narenda told the Free Beacon.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the NEW START Treaty as recently in February saying “It gives us the confidence and level of oversight we need— and could not otherwise have— by allowing U.S. inspectors unprecedented access to Russian nuclear facilities.”

“Never having been made to pay a price, why wouldn’t Putin conclude that violations of the New START treaty would go unpunished as well?” Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee told the Free Beacon.

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Saagar Enjeti