WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain's nuclear secrets The US secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britains nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. HMS Vanguard is Britain's lead Trident-armed submarine. The US, under a nuclear deal, has agreed to give the Kremlin the serial numbers of the missiles it gives Britain Photo: TAM MACDONALD By Matthew Moore, Gordon Rayner and Christopher Hope 9:25PM GMT 04 Feb 2011 2993 Comments Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week. Defence analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britains policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal. The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called special relationship, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website. Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today. The documents also show that: America spied on Foreign Office ministers by gathering gossip on their private lives and professional relationships. Related Articles Rape case against the WikiLeaks chief weak 05 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks: 'We can't control Duchess of York' 04 Feb 2011 How US spied on the Foreign Office 04 Feb 2011 Gordon Brown 'forced to scrap plan for snap election' 04 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks cables: Zardari is a numbskull, British told Americans 05 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks: US embassy cables map 05 Feb 2011 FCO 'refused to speak with doomed British hostage' 04 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks files in full 04 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks cables: Thailand's royal pet 05 Feb 2011 WikiLeaks cables: The bear with a sore head and the fish that flew the flag 05 Feb 2011 Intelligence-sharing arrangements with the US became strained after the controversy over Binyam Mohamed, the former Guantánamo Bay detainee who sued the Government over his alleged torture. David Miliband disowned the Duchess of York by saying she could not be controlled after she made an undercover TV documentary. Tens of millions of pounds of overseas aid was stolen and spent on plasma televisions and luxury goods by corrupt regimes. A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britains nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russias support for the New START deal. Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UKs Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US. Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain. Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal. Duncan Lennox, editor of Janes Strategic Weapons Systems, said: They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them. While the US and Russia have long permitted inspections of each others nuclear weapons, Britain has sought to maintain some secrecy to compensate for the relatively small size of its arsenal. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, last year disclosed that up to 160 warheads are operational at any one time, but did not confirm the number of missiles.