Russia to Keep Missile Test Notices 03/30 06:17
Russia will continue to give the U.S. advance notice about its missile tests
despite suspending the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two
countries, a top Russian diplomat said Thursday.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia will continue to give the U.S. advance notice about
its missile tests despite suspending the last remaining nuclear arms treaty
between the two countries, a top Russian diplomat said Thursday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov's statement reversed one he made
Wednesday, when he said Moscow had halted all information exchanges with
Washington envisioned under the 2011 New START nuclear pact, including missile
But Russia intends to stick by its pledge last month to keep notifying the
U.S. about missile tests in line with a 1988 U.S.-Soviet agreement, Ryabkov
Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the country's participation in
the New START treaty last month, saying Russia could not U.S. inspections of
its nuclear sites at a time when Washington and its NATO allies have openly
declared Moscow's defeat in Ukraine as their goal.
Moscow emphasized at the time that it wasn't withdrawing from the pact
altogether and would continue to respect the caps on nuclear weapons the treaty
Earlier this week, the U.S. announced that Moscow and Washington have
stopped sharing biannual nuclear weapons data as envisioned by New START. U.S.
officials said Washington had offered to continue providing the information
after Putin suspended Russia's participation, but Moscow told Washington it
would not share its own data.
The termination of information exchanges under the pact marked yet another
attempt by the Kremlin to discourage the West from ramping up its support for
Ukraine by pointing to Russia's massive nuclear arsenal. Last weekend, Putin
announced the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to the territory of
Moscow's ally Belarus.
Along with data about the current state of the countries' nuclear forces
routinely released every six months, the parties to the New START treaty also
exchanged advance warnings about test launches and deployments of their nuclear
Such notices have been an essential element of strategic stability for
decades, allowing Russia and the United States to correctly interpret each
other's moves and make sure that neither country mistakes a test launch for a
Ryabkov wouldn't say if the 1988 U.S.-Soviet agreement would cover all the
missile tests that Russia was obliged to issue notices about under New START.