NATO urges Russia to respect nuclear pact with US

A flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) flies at its headquarters in Brussels on November 16, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

BRUSSELS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Friday called on Russia to respect its treaty with the United States on nuclear weapons, which contributes to international stability.

NATO ambassadors said in a statement that "We note with concern that Russia has failed to comply with legally-binding obligations under the New START Treaty."

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010. The last remaining nuclear arms control treaty in force between the two nuclear superpowers can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries. Russia and the United States officially extended the treaty by five years on Feb. 3, 2021.

The ambassadors said that Russia's refusal to hold consultations or to allow U.S. inspections since last August "prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty, and undermines the United States' ability to adequately verify Russian compliance with the treaty's central limits."

"We call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under the treaty by facilitating New START inspections on Russian territory, and by returning to participation in the treaty's implementation body," NATO said.

Earlier this week, Moscow accused the United States of undermining the principles of implementing the treaty. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Moscow remains committed to the treaty but does not see the same commitment from Washington.