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US’s retaliation against Russia’s violations of New START treaty

  • Published
    2nd Jun, 2023
Context

The United States (US) has mentioned that they will stop providing Russia some notifications required under the New START arms control treaty, including updates on its missile and launcher locations, to retaliate for Moscow’s “on-going violations” of the accord.

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.
  • Recently, Russia has announced to unilaterally suspend its membership in the treaty.
  • However, Russia has not formally withdrawn from the treaty, which limits deployed strategic nuclear arsenals.
About the information:
  • According to the news, US is going to stop giving Russia telemetry information, remotely gathered data about a missile’s flight – on launches of U.S. intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

What is the New START nuclear treaty?

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

  • Exchange of data: 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.
  • Keep a check on updates: 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.
  • Limitation for nuclear arms:
  • 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.

Why USA is against 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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