Russia will no longer share detailed information on its nuclear weapons with the United States as outlined in the New START treaty, a senior official in Moscow has said, as Russia’s military began drills with its Yars intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers in Siberia while fighting in Ukraine rages and tension with the US mounts.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies on Wednesday that Moscow had halted all information exchanges with Washington after suspending its participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty last month.
“There will be no notifications at all,” Ryabkov said in remarks reported by Russian news agencies when asked if Moscow would also stop issuing notices about planned missile tests.
“All notifications, all kinds of notifications, all activities within the framework of the treaty will be suspended and will not be conducted regardless of what position the US may take,” he said.
The US said on Tuesday that it would cease providing Moscow with detailed data on its nuclear weapons stockpiles in response to Russia’s suspension of participation in New START.
“Russia has not been in full compliance and refused to share data which we … agreed in New START to share biannually,” John Kirby, the US National Security Council spokesperson said. “Since they have refused to be in compliance … we have decided to likewise not share that data,” he said.
A semi-annual exchange of information between Russia and the US on such issues as their number of nuclear warheads and nuclear-capable bombers on certain bases had been an important measure of the New START treaty.
Last month, President Vladimir Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the treaty, saying Moscow could not accept US inspections of its nuclear sites under the agreement when Washington and its NATO allies have openly declared Moscow’s defeat in Ukraine as their goal.
Moscow emphasised that it had not withdrawn from the START pact altogether and would continue to respect the caps on nuclear weapons the treaty sets. Russia’s foreign ministry had also said that Moscow would keep notifying the US about planned test launches of its ballistic missiles – a key agreement between Washington and Moscow.
Both countries have exchanged notifications about test launches of their ballistic missiles since the Cold War era. Russia’s foreign ministry said last month that Moscow will keep issuing them in line with a 1988 agreement between the US and Soviet Union.
Source: Al Jazeera
BDST: 1213 HRS, MAR 30, 2023