WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today issued the below statement in response to the Biden administration’s release of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) Annual Implementation Report. In light of Russia’s failure to allow on-site inspections and to agree to a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC), the report finds that Russia is not in compliance with New START, a rigorous post-Cold War nuclear arms control agreement expiring in the coming years that was designed to limit both Russia’s and the United States’ nuclear arsenals.
“U.S. officials have stated their desire to maintain strategic arms control with Russia while simultaneously holding Moscow accountable for its invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the State Department’s report today makes clear that Russia is failing to act in compliance with New START. Above all, Russia’s unwillingness to allow on-site inspections of its nuclear facilities undermines a core tenet of the treaty – the ability to verify that its nuclear forces are below the agreed-to limitations.
“We have long supported strategic arms control with Russia, voting for New START in 2010 and advocating for the Treaty’s extension during both the Trump and Biden administrations. But to be very clear, compliance with New START treaty obligations will be critical to Senate consideration of any future strategic arms control treaty with Moscow.”