Russian Nuclear Inspectors Tour Demolished US Launch Facilities
MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian nuclear inspectors visited the US Malmstrom Air Force Base earlier this month to verify that 18 nuclear missile launch facilities had been demolished as part of a 2011 arms control treaty, FOX TV has reported.
A group of Russian inspectors spent 12 hours traveling to sites across central Montana to "confirm that each silo's launch doors had been removed and their launcher tubes filled with earth and gravel," the report said Monday, citing officials at the base.
'Overall, we felt the process went smoothly,' said Col. Marne Deranger, Vice Commander of Malmstrom's 341st Missile Wing.
The inspection on April 9 came despite heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington over the events in Ukraine and the fate of Crimea, which rejoined Russia last month following a referendum.
The New START Treaty, providing for a further reduction of the US and Russian nuclear arsenals, was signed by US President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010 and was held up by both sides as the centerpiece of their vaunted campaign to "reset" rocky relations between the two countries.
Since the New START nuclear disarmament treaty entered into force in February 2011, the United States and Russia have exchanged over 5,500 treaty notifications providing the two sides daily updates on the status of their nuclear forces.
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