Russia: Will Continue Giving Notice Before Missile Tests

March 30, 2023

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday it would continue to give the U.S. advance notice about its missile tests.

The announcement by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov comes just over a month after President Vladimir Putin announced that he was suspending participation in the 2010 New START treaty. Quickly after Putin’s statement, however, the Foreign Ministry said Russia would continue to exchange information about ballistic missile test launches, as per earlier agreements with the U.S.

On Thursday Ryabkov clarified that Russia intends to stick to that pledge and keep the U.S. informed.

He pointed specifically to a 1988 U.S.-Soviet agreement for his reasoning. However, he didn’t say whether, in adhering to that Soviet-era agreement, notification would apply to all of the missile tests that Russia had been obliged to issue notice about under New START.

Putin’s rationalization for suspending the treaty—which he did after President Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine ahead of the one-year mark of Russia’s invasion—was that Russia could not allow the U.S. to inspect its nuclear sites at a time when NATO had openly declared as its goal the defeat of Russia in Ukraine. 

Earlier this week, the U.S. announced that Moscow and Washington have stopped sharing biannual nuclear weapons data as understood under the New START treaty. According to U.S. officials, Washington had offered to continue providing the information even after Putin suspended Russia’s participation, but they said Moscow told Washington it wouldn’t share its own data.

Over this past weekend, Putin ratcheted up the tensions further by announcing Russia would move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, which borders Ukraine, provoking outrage from international organizations.

PHOTO: Russian RS-24 Yars missile

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