Russia accuses U.S. of non-proliferation failures

Russia has accused the United States of failing to live up to its obligations on the non-proliferation of weapons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States of being in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, according to Reuters.

The ministry related in a 10-page report that a series of checks by a U.S. Department of Agriculture in July 2010 had proven that security at U.S. facilities that deal with viruses was inadequate and that an intruder would be capable of gaining access.

In the same report, Russia chided the United States for its continued research into to smallpox and other military pathogens.

The complaints come on the heels of the U.S. State Department release of a compliance report that was critical of Russia’s adherence to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The report said that there was no clear indication that Russia was breaking the treaty, but that it was participating in activities that were inconsistent with the treaty’s obligations.

“It is appropriate to emphasize that the publication of such reports is not conducive to establishing a new spirit of partnership and a trustful relationship between our countries, about which so much has been said,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on its Web site. “It is unlikely that such exercises of public diplomacy, not based on facts, will serve to achieve our common nonproliferation goals.”

Russia also accused the United States of violating the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and a conventional weapons treaty. In a move that may have further aggravated Russia, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a ratification vote on the new START treaty until mid-September, despite assurances by the Obama administration that it would be passed this summer.