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28th February 2023 (6 Topics)

Russia’s suspends participation in New START

Context

Russian President has announced that Moscow was unilaterally suspending the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty with the U.S., stating that the West was trying to destroy Russia.

Background

  • The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by former S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
  • It was extended for five years when current U.S. President Joe Biden took office in 2021.

Overview

  • Signed: 8 April 2010
  • Entered into Force: 5 February 2011
  • Duration: Ten-year duration with option to extend for no more than five years
  • Parties: United States, Russian Federation

What is the New START nuclear treaty?

Under the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), there exist the following agreements:

  • Russia and the U.S. exchange data twice a year on the ballistic missiles under the treaty’s purview, on bombers, test sites, nuclear bases and so on.
  • The treaty also mandates the two parties to send notifications within five days if they change or updates something in their stockpile, like moving missiles to a new base or deploying a new warhead to the system.
  • It allows each side to carry out up to 18 short-notice (32 hours) on-site inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites annually to ensure the other has not crossed the limits of the treaty.
  • Under the Treaty, America and Russia cannot deploy more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and more than 700 long-range missiles and bombers.
  • It also limits each country to 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers and delivery vehicles.

Statement of conflict between US and Russia:

  • Russia’s view: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the U.S. wanted to “inflict ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia and try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time.
  • USA’s view:In its New START annual implementation report 2023, the U.S. State Department stated that Moscow was not complying with the pact as it had not let Washington carry out on-site inspections.

What are the concerns after Russia’s suspends the treaty?

  • Uncontrolled use of arms and weapons: The two largest nuclear powers could get an opportunity to other nuclear-armed countries, especially China and others like Pakistan, Iran, Israel, and India among others, to increase their arsenals.
  • Effect global peace: The arms treaty was aimed to hold the global peace and no use of nuclear weapons. However, the Russia’s decision to suspend it causes concerns for developing countries.

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