U.S. officials say the United States will no longer be sharing nuclear information with Russia over Moscow’s noncompliance with the New START treaty, which Russian President Vladimir Putin backed out of last month.
The arms control pact between the U.S. and Russia, signed by then-Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The agreement envisages on-site inspections to verify compliance.
Officials at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department said the U.S. offered to continue providing this information to Russia – even after Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the treaty last month. Still, Moscow informed Washington that it would not be sharing its data. Now, both the U.S. and Russia have stopped sharing biannual nuclear weapons data altogether.
‘We obviously would like to see Russia back in New START in full compliance. We believe that the New START Treaty is good for both our countries. It’s good for the world when our two countries are in full compliance,’ National Security spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.
‘Since they have refused to be in compliance with that particular modality of New START, we have decided to likewise not share that data.’
The White House, which has previously accused Russia of multiple treaty violation, has said Russia’s refusal to comply is ‘legally invalid’ and the decision to withhold the nuclear data is yet another violation.
Despite being extended shortly after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, New START has been tested by Russia’s war in Ukraine. It has been on life support for more than a month since Putin announced Russia would no longer comply with its requirements.
On-site inspections have been dormant since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions on resuming them were supposed to have taken place in November 2022, but Russia abruptly called them off, citing U.S. support for Ukraine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.