Russia affirmed that it will continue to warn the United States about missile tests despite having suspended the nuclear pact

Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) (DENIS BALIBOUSE/)

Russia will continue to give the United States advance notice of its missile tests despite having suspended the last nuclear treaty in force between the two countries, as indicated on Thursday by the Russian Vice Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

With this, Ryabkov denied his own statement from the day before, when he said that Moscow had stopped all information exchanges with Washington that the New START nuclear treaty of 2011 provides for, including notices about missile tests.

But Russia intends to follow through on its promise last month to continue warning the United States about missile tests, in line with a 1988 pact between Washington and the Soviet Union.

“Without a doubt, we had said so,” said the Russian diplomat when asked if Moscow would notify Washington of these launches as agreed between the Soviet Union and the US in 1988.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister pointed out that, despite the fact that “all notifications of activities in relation to START III have been paused”, Russia “will continue to abide by the 1988 agreement on the exchange of missile launch notifications.” “We will comply with said 1988 agreement,” he stressed.

File - Russian President Vladimir Putin uses binoculars to watch military exercises (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Photo by Pool via AP)
File – Russian President Vladimir Putin uses binoculars to watch military exercises (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) (Alexei Nikolsky/)

Regarding START III, he indicated that Russia transmitted to the US “both verbally and in writing our position in a note from the Foreign Ministry.”

“In this regard there can be no second readings or euphemisms of any kind,” he said, commenting on the US Department’s statements that it had not been notified of the Russian decision.

the russian president Vladimir Putin suspended the country’s participation in New START last month because it said Russia could not allow US inspections of its nuclear sites when Washington and its NATO allies have declared their goal is Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.

Moscow stressed at the time that it was not fully withdrawing from the pact and would continue to respect the limits on nuclear weapons imposed by the treaty.

Days ago, The United States announced that Moscow and Washington have halted the semi-annual mutual briefing on nuclear weapons planned by New START. Officials in Washington said the United States offered to keep sending the data after Putin suspended Russian participation, but Moscow said it would not send its data.

The interruption of the exchange of information provided for by the pact marked a new attempt by the Kremlin to discourage the West from increasing its support for Ukraine, highlighting Moscow’s huge nuclear arsenal. The last weekend, Putin announced the installation of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of his ally Belarus.

ICBMs in Moscow (Shutterstock)
ICBMs in Moscow (Shutterstock) (Russian Presidency/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock/)

Along with data on the status of their nuclear forces that countries exchanged every six months, New START signatories also alerted each other about missile tests and nuclear weapon sites.

Such warnings have been an essential component of strategic stability for decades, allowing each country to correctly interpret the other’s actions and ensuring that neither mistake a test for an attack.

Ryabkov declined to clarify whether the 1988 agreement covered all nuclear tests for which Russia was required to send notices under New START.

Signed in 2010 by the then US and Russian presidents, Barack Obama and Dmitry MedvedevNew START limits the number of long-range nuclear warheads each country can have deployed to 1,550.

It also restricts the number of launch vehicles and systems Washington and Moscow can have deployed or in reserve, but its cornerstone is the verification regime the treaty establishes to ensure these limits are met.

(With information from AP and EFE)

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