Friday, 23 August, 2019

USA believes Russian Federation conducting low-level nuclear tests

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week Russian President Vladimir Putin this week
Patty Aguilar | 30 May, 2019, 15:55

The US has signed but has not yet ratified the treaty.

Trump announced in February that the United States would unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, pointing towards Russia's 9M729 cruise missile, which American officials claim violates the existing limitations.

"The United States believes that Russian Federation probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the "zero-yield" standard", Lieutenant General Robert P Ashley said at an arms control forum at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday.

The statement was made Wednesday by the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley.

Russia's nuclear activities would help it to improve its weapons capabilities, according to Lieutenant General Ashley. "These words from a USA intelligence chief indicate that he is only an accidental person in this profession and he is in the wrong job".

The head of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, said Lt Gen Ashley's comments appeared to have been overstated.

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The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions, either military or civilian, in any type of situation.

"We have to define narrowly where we need to work with them, and but not have any illusions about the fact that they're going to move any closer to our view of the world than we have at the present", she said. The White House in February 2019 announced the United States' withdrawal from the treaty, which bans land-based, medium-range missiles in Europe. The United States never ratified the CTBT, and is not bound by global law to follow its provisions.

For years, Pentagon officials have been expecting the Russians to violate the treaty, according to CBS News' David Martin, but Wednesday's comments mark the first time the US has explicitly said Moscow has failed to observe its commitments under the CTBT.

"The U.S. allegations. look like a well-planned and directed attack not only and not so much on Russia as on the arms control regime, and on the entire architecture for strategic stability", Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador, was quoted as saying by Vesti TV.

A senior Trump administration official said that the US isn't interested in resuming nuclear testing, but that it wouldn't allow Russian Federation and China to get away with any operations that go above the "zero yield" guidelines.

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