US agrees to announce missile launches

US agrees to announce missile launches

The United States has agreed to notify other nations before it launches most ballistic missile tests or satellites, in a measure that builds on a landmark arms agreement with Russia and is meant to encourage Moscow to reciprocate, AP reported.

The American decision was contained in a confidential note made available Thursday to The Associated Press and confirmed by three diplomats familiar with the issue.

The move is less far-reaching - or binding - than the treaty signed last month by the U.S. and Russian presidents that outlines cuts in both nations' massive nuclear arsenals. But it is significant in reflecting Washington's determination to build on the success of that agreement.

For years, Russia voluntarily provided such pre-notifications regarding the launch of ballistic missile tests or satellites. But it stopped doing that two years ago, complaining that the U.S. and other nations were not following suit.

One senior diplomat familiar with the issue said that Moscow is now expected to resume its reporting. That would add to the confidence building that received a huge push with last month's signing of the nuclear arms agreement.

"The United States ... will provide pre-launch notification of commercial and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space launches as well as the majority of intercontinental ballistic and submarine-launched ballistic missile launches," said the note forwarded to HCOC, an organization overseeing efforts to curb the spread of such weapons.

The wording indicated that not all missile tests would be subject to pre-notification, but it was not clear from the note what would be exempt.

The U.S. decision was conveyed to the other 129 HCOC member states on May 7, judging from the date on a cover letter accompanying the American note and signed by Austria's Foreign Ministry, which administers the Vienna-based Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.

The U.S. initiative comes as Washington presses the U.S. Senate to ratify the arms reduction treaty signed April 9 in Prague with Russia, arguing the passage is vital to U.S. efforts to persuade other countries not to build atomic weapons.

If ratified, the New START pact would limit each country's stockpile of nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current level of 2,200 - bringing the arsenals to a level last seen in the 1950s. The treaty would remain in effect for 10 years.

HCOC members plan to meet at the end of this month and the beginning of June, and the senior diplomat - who, like his colleagues, agreed to discuss the confidential issue in exchange for anonymity - said the Americans were expected to expand on their pre-notification plans then.

But his two counterparts said Washington already was acting on its commitment, with the U.S. administration informing the HCOC of NASA plans to launch Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center before the May 14 liftoff of the space shuttle.

In suspending its pre-launch notifications, the Russian Foreign Ministry had complained about many signatories of the code "chronically" failed to fulfill their obligations. It said the U.S. was not serving notices on launches of its ballistic missile tests - projectiles launched to drop on their targets from high altitudes - and about half of the signatories fail to submit annual declarations about their missile activities.

Four nuclear weapons states that adhere to the Nonproliferation Treaty - the U.S., Russia, Britain and France - are HCOC members. But China, the fifth, has not joined, nor have NCOC outsiders India and Pakistan, which both posses ballistic missile capabilities.

Other non members are North Korea - which has tested nuclear arms - and Iran, which the West fears is trying to develop a nuclear arms program. Both are believed to be working on long-range ballistic missiles capabilities.

Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
Georgian Basisbank launches service for purchase of government securities
Georgian Basisbank launches service for purchase of government securities
Loading Bars
Latest
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president, diplomats, Garabagh FC representatives visit Aghdam Mosque (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan committed to promoting socio-economic development of Afghanistan
Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Tender for maintenance of elevators, escalators launched in Turkey
Azerbaijan's ten-month output of oil products declines
Turkey's export of grain and legumes to Turkmenistan up
Turkmenistan, Belarus discuss program of cooperation
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic corps reps arrive at liberated Aghdam city
Rural digitalization project successfully underway in Kazakhstan
Missile fired to Tartar by Armenia delivered to local museum - president's assistant (VIDEO)
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Ardabil Province up
Water problems center to be created in Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of lubricating oil
Azerbaijan’s Baku Telephone Communications opens tender
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
Number of shells fired at Tartar district by Armenian Armed Forces revealed
German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021
Kazakhstan doubles export to Afghanistan
Price of apartments in Iran’s Tehran rising
Autumn grain sowing carried out on large area of land in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Baku Metro to buy inert materials through tender
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic missions visiting Tartar (PHOTO)
Turkish soldiers to soon begin their missions in Azerbaijan - Turkey’s VP
Georgian Basisbank launches service for purchase of government securities
Azerbaijan shows footage of Kalbajar's Istisu village (VIDEO)
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Turkey issues 10M2020 data on cargo, passenger traffic in Adnan Menderes Airport
Assistant to Azerbaijani president, Karabakh football club to visit Tartar, Aghdam cities
Azerbaijani oil prices reaching $49 per barrel
Tesla could widen release of 'self-driving' software in two weeks
Iranian currency rates for November 28
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment modernization
Turkish municipality to rent vehicles via tender
Turkmenistan, EU discuss prospects for developing bilateral contacts
Iran seeks to cooperate in auto sector with foreign countries
Azerbaijani flag raised in liberated Kalbajar city after 27 years (VIDEO)
OPEC+ likely to roll over its current production cut at least until end-March 2021
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 172,000
826 new coronavirus cases in 24 hrs, total at 130,039
Georgian Poti FIZ plans to implement production of high-tech electrical devices in 2021
Chinese mainland reports 6 new imported COVID-19 cases
British, Irish prime ministers discuss EU trade negotiations
Kazakhstan increases exports to Georgia multifold despite COVID-19
France reports 957 new COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations down
76 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
OPEC+ monitoring committee postpones meeting on oil production cuts deal in 2021 to Sunday
Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain
Iran expected to reduce potato production
Azerbaijan national team won silver and bronze medals at 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Diesel fuel production down in Azerbaijan
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy batteries
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
Iranian Aras Free Trade Zone reveals its trade surplus
Modernization of primary gas treatment unit carried out at Uzbek oil field
Ambassador of Mexico meets with Azerbaijani Acting Minister of Culture
Azerbaijan supplying drinking water to liberated Shusha city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan consistently works to strengthen regional cooperation - MFA
Azerbaijan's import of chemical products from Turkey up
Conflicts, external aggression threaten peace, security - Azerbaijani FM (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy receives Qatari ambassador (PHOTO)
Iran's industrial cities work at minimum capacity
U.S. agency opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue
Turkey discloses Istanbul Airport's ten-month passenger traffic volume
Japan ruling party proposal backs assistance for COVID-hit airlines
Iran's Social Security Organization to forgive insurance fines of employers
All news