US and Russia stop sharing nuclear weapons data
The United States and Russia have stopped sharing nuclear weapons data every six months under the New START treaty, the last arms control treaty between the two countries, US officials said on Tuesday.
Officials at the White House, Pentagon and State Department said the United States has offered to continue providing this information to Russia even after President Vladimir Putin suspends Russia’s participation in the treaty last month, but Moscow has informed Washington that it will not share its own data.
US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters: “Given Russia’s failure to comply with these treaty obligations, the United States will not be providing Russia with data exchanged every six months to encourage Russia to return to compliance with the treaty”.
The White House, which has previously accused Russia of repeated violations of the treaty, said Russia’s refusal to comply was “legally invalid” and the decision to withhold nuclear data was another violation.
Although renewed shortly after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, New START has been rigorously tested by Russia’s War in Ukraine and has been on life support for more than a month since Putin announced Russia would no longer comply with his demands.
The treaty, signed by then-Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, limited each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The agreement is expected to scan onsite inspections to verify compliance.
Tests have not been active since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions about resumption of them were supposed to take place in November 2022, but Russia abruptly canceled them on the grounds that the US supported Ukraine. In February, Russia officially suspended its participation in the treaty.