Washington has decided to stop sharing data on its arsenal, citing Moscow’s suspension of the New START deal
FILE PHOTO: A nuclear-capable B-2 bomber in Palmdale, California, 2014. © Frederic J. Brown / AFP
The US will stop sharing information required under Washington’s last remaining nuclear arms treaty with Russia in retaliation to Moscow’s decision earlier this year to suspend participation in the agreement amid rising tensions over the Ukraine conflict.
“The United States has adopted lawful countermeasures in response to the Russian Federation’s ongoing violation of the New START Treaty,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday. He claimed that Russia’s suspension of the treaty was “legally invalid” and that Moscow remained bound by its obligations under the agreement.
Nevertheless, Washington will scale back its own commitments under the 2010 treaty, which capped the number of warheads and the means of their delivery, in order to “induce” Russian compliance, Blinken said. He added that Moscow had been notified about Washington’s decision in advance, and that the US was ready to “reverse the countermeasures and fully implement the treaty if Russia returns to compliance.”
The unveiled measures include refusing to provide required notifications on the status and location of treaty-accountable missiles and launchers, as well as revoking the diplomatic privileges and visas of Russia’s New START inspectors. Likewise, the US will no longer provide telemetric data on its missile launches, Blinken said.