Reports: Russia may halt US inspections under arms control treaties in response to sanctions

The Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits city facilities in Sochi, Russia, Friday, March 7, 2014. The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympics is held in Sochi on Friday. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is considering a freeze of U.S. military inspections under arms control treaties in retaliation to Washington's decision to halt military cooperation with Russia, news reports said Saturday.

Russian news agencies carried a statement by an unidentified Defense Ministry official saying that Moscow sees the U.S. move as a reason to suspend U.S. inspections in Russia in line with the 2010 New START treaty on cutting U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and the 2011 Vienna agreement that envisages mutual inspections of Russian and NATO military facilities as part of confidence-building measures.

A Defense Ministry spokesman wouldn't comment on the reports, which are a usual way in Russia to carry unofficial government signals.

The U.S. and the European Union have introduced sanctions over Russia in response to its move to send troops that have taken control of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

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