US to stop giving Russia some New START nuclear arms data

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: The State Department Building is pictured in Washington, U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said it would stop giving Russia some notifications required under the New START arms control treaty from Thursday, including on its missile and launcher locations, to retaliate for Moscow's "ongoing violations" of the accord.

In a fact sheet on its website, the State Department said it would also stop giving Russia telemetry information - remotely gathered data about a missile's flight - on launches of U.S. intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not formally withdrawn from the treaty, which limits the two sides' deployed strategic nuclear arsenals, but on Feb. 21 he said Russia would suspend participation, imperiling the last pillar of U.S.-Russian arms control.

Signed in 2010 and due to expire in 2026, the New START treaty caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the countries can deploy. Under its terms, Moscow and Washington may deploy no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and 700 land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.

"Beginning June 1, 2023, the United States is withholding from Russia notifications required under the treaty, including updates on the status or location of treaty-accountable items such as missiles and launchers," the State Department factsheet said.

"Russia ceased fulfilling its notification obligation upon its purported suspension of the treaty on February 28, 2023. The fundamental purpose of the majority of notifications is to improve each side’s ability to verify the other’s compliance with the treaty," it said.

The department said it continues to notify Russia of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches in accordance with the 1988 Ballistic Missile Launch Notifications Agreement.

It said it was also still providing notifications of exercises in accordance with the 1989 Agreement on Reciprocal Notification of Major Strategic Exercises.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft)

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