UPDATE 1-Russia says nuclear pact suspension unaffected by US data shift

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Mar 29 (Reuters) –

Russia said on Wednesday that Washington’s decision to stop sharing some data about its nuclear forces under the New START arms control treaty will not prompt Moscow to review its own decision to suspend its participation in the pact.

The United States

announced on Tuesday

It would stop sharing some information about its nuclear forces after President Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow to suspend its own involvement in February.

Russia said on Wednesday it would voluntarily comply

agreed limits

on the number of nuclear warheads it can deploy, whatever the US step.

“We have voluntarily committed to complying with the key volume limits set out in this contract,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying in an interview with the state news agency RIA.

“That’s it. Our position doesn’t depend on whether the Americans give us their data or not,” he said.

The US remained party to the agreement and remains committed to transferring data, he added.

“The US, unlike Russia, has not formally suspended the treaty. Accordingly, they are obliged to fully comply with its provisions,” Ryabkov said.

Putin justified Russia’s suspension last month by stating that the West was directly involved in Ukrainian attacks on Russian strategic bomber bases deep in Russian territory without any evidence.

He said NATO’s demands that Russia should allow inspections of its nuclear bases under the New START treaty are therefore absurd.

The new START treaty, signed in 2010 and expiring in 2026, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that both countries, the world’s largest nuclear powers, can deploy.

Under his terms, Moscow and Washington are not allowed to deploy more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and 700 land- and sea-based missiles and bombers to transport them.

Both the United States and Russia have said that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. But the conflict in Ukraine has prompted Russia to repeatedly warn that it will use every weapon in its arsenal to defend itself if the existence of the Russian state is threatened.

Russia’s Defense Ministry

said on Wednesday

that it had begun exercises with its Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system and several thousand troops, in what will likely be seen as another attempt by Moscow to demonstrate its nuclear might. (Writing by Caleb Davis Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Source : finance.yahoo.com

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