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 remarks, at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, come amid efforts by the Trump administration to rewrite arms control rules.
He said the United States is keeping its nuclear testing sites ready for possible resumption of nuclear tests.
Russian Federation rebuffed as a baseless smear on Thursday a United States allegation that Moscow may be conducting low-level nuclear tests in violation of a moratorium.
Ashley's comments mark the first time the USA has publicly accused Russian Federation of violating the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ratified by Russian Federation in 2000, which prohibits any tests that create a nuclear yield.
Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr, the head of the Pentagon's intelligence arm, disclosed during a speech at the right-wing Hudson Institute on Wednesday that the United States believes Russian Federation has "probably" restarted low-yield nuclear tests, in violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Russian Federation announced last month it was suspending the INF treaty after the United States said it would withdraw because of violations by Moscow.
It called for the United States itself to ratify the treaty.
'They have been in breach for several years and they have tested, produced, fielded an INF weapon.
In the crucial passage of his speech, Ashley explained that the American intelligence community does not pass judgment on whether foreign powers are fully complying with treaties, but rather looks for actions that appear "inconsistent" with the behavior mandated by those treaties.
"Ashley would only say that Russia had the "capability" to conduct very low-yield supercritical nuclear tests in contravention of the treaty, a capability which Russia, China and the United States have long had". "These words from a US intelligence chief indicate that he is only an accidental person in this profession and he is in the wrong job". "Nuclear tests can not be carried out secretly with equipment, which is controlling these processes today", Shamanov said of Ashley's remarks.
"The CTBTO has full confidence in the ability of the IMS [its monitoring system] to detect nuclear test explosions,", the organisation said in a statement.
"These kinds of statements reveal that the professionalism of the military is systemically falling in America", said Shamanov, a retired colonel general and a former commander of Russia's Airborne Troops.
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 USA has explicitly said Moscow has failed to observe its commitments under the CTBT.