Russia to keep missile launch notifications under 1988 agreement: Official

Vladivostok, Jun 4 (IANS): Russia will continue to provide notifications of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches under the relevant 1988 agreement to avoid dangerous escalations, an official has said.

"We have certainly taken note of the US intention, at least in words, to continue fulfilling the 1988 agreement on notifications of ICBM and SLBM launches," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.

"Accordingly, within the framework of New START (New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), notifications will not be transmitted, but within this (1988) agreement, the relevant procedures will be maintained from our side," he said.

The US and the former Soviet Union signed Ballistic Missile Launch Notification Agreement in 1988.

"Therefore, a certain level of transparency and predictability will remain in this area, allowing us to avoid further dangerous escalations," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 21 that Moscow would suspend its participation in New START but would not withdraw from it. On March 1, Putin signed a law to officially suspend Russia's participation in the treaty.

"Our decision to suspend New START is unshakable, irrespective of any measures or countermeasures from the American side. Furthermore, our condition for the treaty's full-fledged functioning is the US renouncing its fundamentally hostile policy towards Russia," Ryabkov said.

The US State Department had previously announced that starting from June 1, Washington would stop providing Moscow with data on the status and location of its missiles and launchers covered by New START.



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Title: Russia to keep missile launch notifications under 1988 agreement: Official

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