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The United States is committed to full and mutual implementation of the New START Treaty. Consistent with that commitment, the United States has adopted lawful countermeasures in response to the Russian Federation’s ongoing violations of the New START Treaty. The Russian Federation’s purported suspension of the New START Treaty is legally invalid. As a result, Russia remains bound by its New START Treaty obligations, and is violating the treaty by failing to fulfill many of those obligations.

U.S. countermeasures are fully consistent with international law. They are proportionate, reversible, and meet all other legal requirements. International law permits such measures in order to induce a state to return to compliance with its international obligations.

The United States notified Russia of the countermeasures in advance, and conveyed the United States’ desire and readiness to reverse the countermeasures and fully implement the treaty if Russia returns to compliance. The United States remains ready to work constructively with Russia on resuming implementation of the New START Treaty.

What are the U.S. countermeasures?

The United States has taken four lawful countermeasures in response to the Russian Federation’s ongoing violations of the New START Treaty. The United States continues to abide by the treaty’s central limits, and to fulfill all of its New START obligations that have not been included within these countermeasures.

AS OF MARCH 30, 2023

  • BIANNUAL DATA EXCHANGE: After confirming that Russia would not fulfill its obligation to provide its biannual data update on March 30, 2023, the United States did not provide its March 30 biannual date update to Russia. The New START Treaty requires Russia and the United States to exchange comprehensive databases in March and September of each year. These databases include extensive data on New START Treaty-accountable facilities and nuclear forces, including numbers of deployed warheads and delivery vehicles.In the interest of strategic stability and to promote transparency, on May 15, 2023, the United States proceeded with public release of U.S. aggregate data corresponding to the New START Treaty central limits as of March 1, 2023. The publicly released aggregate data comprise a small portion of the data the United States withheld from Russia in March pursuant to the data-update countermeasure.

AS OF JUNE 1, 2023

  • NOTIFICATIONS: Beginning June 1, 2023, the United States is withholding from Russia notifications required under the treaty, including updates on the status or location of treaty-accountable items such as missiles and launchers. Russia ceased fulfilling its notification obligation upon its purported suspension of the treaty on February 28, 2023. The fundamental purpose of the majority of notifications is to improve each side’s ability to verify the other’s compliance with the treaty, especially in combination with on-site inspections.The United States continues to provide Russia with notifications of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launches in accordance with the 1988 Ballistic Missile Launch Notifications Agreement, and to provide notifications of exercises in accordance with the 1989 Agreement on Reciprocal Notification of Major Strategic Exercises.
  • INSPECTION ACTIVITIES: The United States is refraining from facilitating New START Treaty inspection activities on U.S. territory, specifically by revoking existing visas issued to Russian New START Treaty inspectors and aircrew members, denying pending applications for such visas, and by revoking the standing diplomatic clearance numbers issued for Russian New START Treaty inspection airplanes.The United States had been prepared to facilitate Russian New START Treaty inspection activities on U.S. territory since June 2022, and repeatedly conveyed that readiness to Russia; however, Russia chose not to exercise its right to conduct inspection activities and has also denied the United States its right under the treaty to conduct inspection activities since August 2022, when it refused to accept a U.S. inspection. Russia has not notified the United States of any intent to send a Russian inspection team to the United States since February 25, 2020.
  • TELEMETRY: The United States will not be providing telemetric information on launches of U.S. ICBMs and SLBMs. The New START Treaty requires that both parties reach agreement within the framework of the treaty’s implementation body, the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC), on the number of launches of ICBMs and SLBMs for which telemetric information will be exchanged each year. Russia has refused to meet in the BCC to reach such an agreement, and the United States will not provide telemetric information unilaterally. The treaty does not require the United States to take such unilateral action in any event, since it calls for an exchange of telemetric information on an agreed number of launches.

U.S. Department of State

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