22 May 2013
Lawmakers are proposing a measure that would bar the administration from sharing classified missile defense data with Russia.
That would undercut a path that arms control advocates have urged to restart nuclear talks, which have been set back by a missile defense dispute. They say that if the United States releases classified data, it could persuade Moscow that the system is not targeting Russian missiles.
The proposal is part of a defense bill that is in its early stages in the legislative process. Its prospects for becoming law are uncertain.
The administration has not said whether it is prepared to release missile defense data to Russia, but the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, James Syring, said recently that the administration has discussed the possibility.
The defense bill would also direct the Missile Defense
Agency to inform Congress about any recent instances in which it has
already declassified information to provide it to Russia. It would
also require the administration to develop a plan to pressure Russia
and China to restrict the transfer of ballistic missile technology to
Syria, Iran and North Korea.