What is New START nuclear treaty? Why did Russia suspend?

 23 Feb 2023 ( News Bureau )

Addressing the Russian public ahead of the anniversary of the war with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is suspending its participation in the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the United States. It is also known as 'New Start Nuclear Treaty'.

However, after Putin's statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry has made it clear that according to the treaty, the restriction on the number of war-ready nuclear missiles and weapons will continue to be followed by Russia.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has said that this decision has been taken in order to "preserve to a certain extent the traceability of our nuclear sites and its stability".

There is worldwide talk of suspending Russia's participation from this treaty. It is being said that this is the last nuclear agreement between the two nuclear superpowers and if it ends, both the countries will 'end arm control' on each other.

What is New START nuclear treaty?

The agreement was signed in 2010 by the then US President Barack Obama and the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Under the New Start Nuclear Treaty, the number of missiles that will be in ready condition in America and Russia has been fixed. Russia and America have 90% of the world's nuclear weapons.

According to this agreement, Russia and the US can keep a maximum of 1550 nuclear missiles, 700 long-range missiles and bombers in an absolutely ready condition.

Both countries can make 18 visits to each other's nuclear site in a year to ensure that no country is violating the agreement.

This treaty started in the year 2011 and in the year 2021 it was extended for another five years. That is, the existing treaty is valid till 2026.

Nuclear site visits between the two countries were suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. The US and Russia were to meet in Egypt in November 2022 to resume nuclear site visits, but Russia postponed the meeting. Now a new date has not been fixed for this meeting from both the countries.

What will be the impact of Russia's withdrawal from the New Start nuclear treaty?

However, Russia's Foreign Ministry has said that it will follow the rule of the treaty in which the number of missiles in the ready condition of both countries has been determined. But Russia's suspension of the treaty will probably make it difficult for the US to find out whether Russia is following the agreement or not.

Russia has already canceled nuclear site visits between the two countries. Experts believe that it will be a big danger if Putin goes ahead and stops the transaction of data of missile weapons prepared between the two countries.

John Eroth, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said in an interview with The Washington Post that the move was "purely symbolic".

John Eroth believes that Putin's announcement is a way to put pressure on US President Joe Biden, who is standing with Ukraine against Russia. John Eroth said, "Biden is talking about ending the war and Russia is trying to show him what is possible."

Speaking to the British newspaper Guardian, Andrey Baklitsky, senior researcher at the Center for Arms Control and Strategic Weapons Program at the Institute for Disarmament Research at the United Nations, said, "The suspension of the treaty was a big deal, the suspension of the agreement is not the same as taking yourself out of it. But in fact, it may happen in the future."

Andrey Baklitsky said, "Russia may remain in this treaty till 2026 but it is certain that it will adopt a tough attitude towards America. Responsibilities determined under the terms of this treaty may also change.''


(Click here for Android APP of IBTN. You can follow us on facebook and Twitter)

Share This News

About sharing





Al Jazeera English | Live