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Russian Noncompliance with New START Treaty a Surprise to No One

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the Biden Administration’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (NST) Annual Implementation Report:

“Russia has a long pattern of blatantly violating its international arms control commitments. That’s why the Biden Administration’s determination of Russia’s noncompliance with the NST is a surprise to no one. From refusing to allow U.S. officials to inspect its stockpiles for over two years, to unilaterally postponing talks under the NST’s Bilateral Consultative Commission, Russia’s noncompliance not only exemplifies its utter lack of interest in strategic stability, but it also calls into question the efficacy of the NST and all arms control efforts with Russia. 

“For years, I have warned of Russia’s intentions to exploit our good-faith efforts under the NST to achieve its own malign ends. Absent meaningful inspections, the NST cannot deliver on the promise of stability that flows from the limitations on strategic nuclear weapons. Moreover, Moscow is now at an advantage given its vast superiority in non-strategic and theater nuclear weapons – advantages derived in part from its violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“I advised the Biden Administration against renewing the NST in January 2021, and the next month, it moved ahead anyway. Now, we have lost precious time and leverage, and are faced with an even more dangerous challenge. It’s imperative we quickly and fully modernize our nuclear triad, and contemplate new deterrence measures that reflect the reality of Russia’s increased reliance on nuclear weapons and China’s attempts at a strategic breakout.”