(Bloomberg) -- Russia said Monday it has informed the US it is halting American inspections of its nuclear weapons sites under the New START treaty in protest at what it described as efforts by Washington to maintain unequal access.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the ban on flights from Russia to the US and allied countries and visa restrictions for transit countries meant that Russian inspectors are unable to travel to the US, while American inspections are proceeding unhindered.

“We would like to stress that these are temporary measures,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. “Once we resolve the problems linked to the resumption of inspections under the accord, we will immediately lift” the restrictions.

Russia and the incoming Biden administration in the US in 2021 extended the New START arms-control treaty for five years, giving the former Cold War rivals time for new talks on strategic security. Since then President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February has sparked rising confrontation, with the US spending billions of dollars on military and financial support for Kyiv. The US has accused Russia of nuclear saber-rattling while the Kremlin complains that the arms-control negotiations are yet to begin.

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