Russia-US exchange of classified data on missile defence improbable
BRUSSELS, March 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Exchange of classified information related to missile defence issues between Russia and the United State is highly improbable, a top-ranking official from the Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday.
“While ratifying last year the new START treaty, the American Senate put down in the ratification resolution that the U.S. administration has no right to disclose to Russia any sensitive missile-defence information. It means that a U.S. domestic law prohibits to transfer classified information about missile defence to Russia,” said Sergei Koshelev, head of the ministry’s international military cooperation department.
According to Koshelev, in the recent years the U.S. administration “has been persistently offering us to sign an agreement on cooperation in the area of defence technologies,” that would contain a provision on the exchange of classified information.
“They have been for a long time pushing us to finalize this document, negotiated for a decade, saying that it would ensure a better transparency in military relations. But bearing in mind the position of the U.S. Senate, it is unlikely to be applicable to the area of missile defence,” he said.
At the same time, he admitted that it is practically impossible to test a missile in utter secrecy. “Any missile returns telemetry, and this telemetry is open. It can be decoded by other countries, along with Russia. It means that it will always be clear what was tested,” he said.
Koshelev reiterated that Russia continues expert contacts on missile defence problems both with the United States and NATO. According to the defence ministry official, there is a “direct and indissoluble link” between U.S. missile defence efforts and the development of strategic offensive arms, which “is reflected in our dialogue.”