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US will not give Russia nuclear data after New START treaty suspension: White House

Russian missile air defense systems are seen during the International military-technical forum "Army-2021" at Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in Moscow Region, Russia August 23, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

A White House spokesperson says the United States has informed Russia that it will not exchange data on its nuclear forces, in response to Moscow's decision to suspend participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty.

"Under international law, the United States has the right to respond to Russia's breaches of the New START Treaty by taking proportionate and reversible countermeasures in order to induce Russia to return to compliance with its obligations," a spokesperson for the National Security Council said on Tuesday.

"That means that because Russia’s claimed suspension of the New START Treaty is legally invalid, the U.S. is legally permitted to withhold our biannual data update in response to Russia’s breaches," the spokesperson added.

President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of Russia's participation in the treaty in February.

The treaty was signed in 2010 and extended until 2026. It obliges Russia and the US to deploy no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads, which account for 90 percent of the world's nuclear warheads, and a maximum of 700 long-range missiles and bombers.

Russia says it has concluded that the United States has been in violation of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, accusing Washington of being in non-compliance with its provisions and of trying to undermine Russia's national security.

Russia has conditioned its return to the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States on Washington listening to Moscow's position.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the "attitude of the collective West" led by the United States, needed to change towards Moscow.

"The security of one country cannot be ensured at the expense of the security of another," he said.

The official was apparently referring to Russia's assertion that the West has been trying to undermine the country's national security.

Following Putin's announcement about suspending the treaty, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, accusing the United States of being responsible for Moscow's decision.

It denounced the US for noncompliance with the treaty's provisions, and making efforts to target Russia's national security, "which directly contradict the fundamental principles and understandings enshrined in the preamble of the treaty."

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