US halts sharing information with Russia on nuclear weapons

Russia unilaterally stopped participating in the New START treaty in February.

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The US announced several countermeasures on Thursday in response to Russia’s suspension of the last nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries.

Russia unilaterally stopped participating in the New START treaty in February, but Washington continued to publish information and abide by the agreement.

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“The Russian Federation’s purported suspension of the New START Treaty is legally invalid. As a result, Russia remains bound by its New START Treaty obligations and is violating the treaty by failing to fulfill many of those obligations,” the State Department said in a fact sheet released.

As of June 1, Washington said it would no longer notify Russia of any updates on the status or location of “treaty-accountable items” like missiles and launchers.

The US will also block inspections on US territory allowed under the New START. It will do so by revoking existing visas issued to Russian New START Treaty inspectors and aircrew members, denying pending applications for such visas, and revoking the standing diplomatic clearance numbers for Russian New START Treaty inspection airplanes.

According to the State Department, Russia has not allowed the US to conduct inspection activities since last August.

“Russia has not notified the United States of any intent to send a Russian inspection team to the United States since February 25, 2020,” the fact sheet read.

And finally, the United States will no longer inform Russia or provide information on its launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

The US publicly released data on its nuclear arsenal last month and called on Moscow to do the same.

Thursday’s announcement by the US comes after Republican lawmakers urged the Biden administration to scrap the last nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

Read more: Senators introduce bill to scrap last nuclear arms treaty with Russia

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