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Moscow is putting a stop to sharing nuclear test information with US, declares senior Russian diplomat

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A top-ranking Russian diplomat, Sergei Ryabkov, declared Wednesday, March 29, that Moscow has put a stop to the sharing of information regarding its nuclear capabilities with the United States, which includes notifications about missile testing. This decision was made after previously suspending their involvement in the last nuclear arms agreement with the US.

Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the New START treaty recently, citing the reason that Russia cannot allow US inspections of their nuclear sites under the agreement when NATO and Washington have openly declared their objective as defeating Russia in Ukraine.

Russia clarified that they were not completely withdrawing from the agreement and would still adhere to the limits on nuclear weaponry. Although the Russian foreign ministry initially stated they would continue informing the US about upcoming ballistic missile test launches, Ryabkov’s statement indicated a shift in stance. When asked if Moscow would stop providing notices on planned missile tests, Ryabkov replied that there would be no notifications at all. He further added that all notifications and activities under the treaty would be suspended “regardless of what position the US may take.”

According to Russia’s defense ministry, Yars mobile missile launchers will be traveling across three Siberian regions as part of military exercises that began Wednesday. The ministry added that the movements would include measures to hide the deployment from foreign intelligence sources but did not mention any plans for test launches.

The Yars missile, which is capable of traveling over 6,800 miles and is nuclear-tipped, is a key component of Russia’s strategic missile forces. The defense ministry released a video showing the missiles being transported by trucks from a base to begin their patrol, with the exercise involving approximately 300 vehicles and 3,000 troops in eastern Siberia. This drill comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, a neighboring country and ally of Russia.

Tactical nuclear weapons are designed to be used on the battlefield and have a shorter range and lower yield than the long-range strategic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads that can wipe out entire cities. Putin’s decision to deploy tactical weapons in Belarus followed repeated warnings from Moscow that it was prepared to use “all available means,” including its nuclear arsenal, to repel attacks on Russian territory.

Russian officials have made a series of aggressive statements since their troops entered Ukraine, warning that ongoing Western support for Ukraine has raised the risk of a nuclear conflict. In comments released Tuesday, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, which is chaired by Putin, cautioned the United States and its allies not to entertain any hope of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.

Patrushev claimed that some American politicians believed the United States could launch a pre-emptive missile strike on Russia to which Moscow would be unable to respond, a belief he described as “short-sighted stupidity, which is very dangerous.” Patrushev further stated that Russia is not attempting to frighten anyone with its military might and that it is patient. However, Russia possesses modern and exceptional weaponry that can annihilate any opponent, “including the United States, in case of a threat to its existence.”

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