MOSCOW ( Associated Press) – Russia will continue to warn the United States about missile tests despite suspending the last existing nuclear treaty between the two countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday.
With this, Ryabkov denied his opinion the day before, when he said that Moscow has stopped all information exchange with Washington, which provides for the New Nuclear Treaty of 2011, including additional information on missile tests.
But Russia intends to follow through on its promise last month to warn the United States against missile tests, in line with a 1988 treaty between Washington and the Soviet Union.
Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the country’s participation in New START last month, saying that Russia could not allow US inspections of its nuclear sites, since Washington and its NATO allies declared their goal to be Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.
Moscow had made it clear at the time that it was not fully withdrawing from the treaty and that it would respect the limits on nuclear weapons imposed by the treaty.
A few days ago, the United States announced that Moscow and Washington had stopped the semi-annual exchange of information on nuclear weapons planned for New START. Officials in Washington said the United States would keep the data after Putin suspended Russia’s participation, but Moscow said it would not release its data.
The suspension of the exchange of information provided by the pact is a new attempt by the Kremlin to deter the West from increasing aid to Ukraine, highlighting Moscow’s massive nuclear arsenal. Last weekend, Putin announced the installation of nuclear weapons on the borders of the Allies of Belarus.
Along with information about the state of nuclear forces that countries exchanged every six months, New START signatories also warned each other about missile tests and nuclear weapon sites.
Such warnings have been an essential element of strategic stability for decades, allowing each country to correctly interpret the actions of others and to ensure that neither side experiences a false attack.
Ryabkov declined to clarify whether the 1988 agreement covered all nuclear tests for which Russia was required to launch nuclear weapons under New START.