While the world is creeping closer toward a DefCon 1 exchange with every passing day, should Russia launch tomorrow there will be no way of knowing just how many warheads and ICBMs Putin is letting loose (not that he needs all that many). The reason is because on Monday, Russia informed the US that it is temporarily suspending American inspections of its nuclear weapons sites under the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).
“On August 8, 2022, the Russian Federation officially informed the United States via diplomatic channels that our country is temporarily exempting its facilities from inspection activities under the New START Treaty,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding it also covers “facilities that can be used for demonstrations under the treaty.”
According to Anadolu, the statement stressed that the measures had a “temporary character” but everyone knows there is nothing more permanent in this world than a “temporary” government mandate.
It added that the exemptions would be immediately canceled in case of a “resolution of the existing problems and issues regarding the resumption of inspection activities under the treaty.”
The first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START I, was signed in 1991 between the US and the USSR at a time when there were many thousands of nuclear warheads and took effect in 1994.
In 2010, former US President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a successor agreement called New START which set a limit of no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 missiles, including inspections to verify compliance with the deal.
Days before it was set to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, the two countries agreed to extend it for another five years.
Russia’s obfuscating move harkens to the depths of the cold war when every Russian nuclear move was shrouded in secrecy, and clearly what this means is that it’s time for a Spies like Us sequel.