Russia Suspends the New START Treaty with U.S


    In News

    • Recently, Russia suspended its participation in the New START treaty.
    • It is the last remaining major military agreement with the United States.

    New Start treaty

    • About
      • The New START is officially known as the “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”.
      • START stands for  “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty”. The term ‘strategic offensive arms’ applies to nuclear warheads deployed by Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles (‘SNDVs’). SNDVs are Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (‘ICBMs’) with a range exceeding 5,500 kilometres
    • It is the last remaining arms control treaty between the world’s two main nuclear powers, US and Russia.
    • It is one of the key controls on the superpower deployment of nuclear weapons.
    • Signed by: Barack Obama in 2010 and was extended by Joe Biden till 2026.
      • It took effect in February 2011.
    • Background:
      • This News START treaty is successor to the START-I, which was signed between the US and the erstwhile USSR in 1991, and came into force in 1994.
      • START-I was replaced first by the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT, also known as the Treaty of Moscow), and then by the New START treaty.
    • Structure:
      • It restricts both countries to a maximum of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads each and limits launchers and heavy bombers to 800.
      • It also outlines mutual inspections and regular data exchanges on warheads and delivery mechanisms.
      • It includes an agreement to notify each other about the status of some ballistic missiles.
    • Compliance:
    • The treaty provides for 18 on-site inspections per year for US and Russian inspection teams.
    • What are the implications of a suspension?
      •  A suspension of the treaty may mean that it will be harder for the US to monitor compliance.
      • Earlier, Russia has already suspended mutual inspections of nuclear weapons sites and participation in a bilateral consultative commission. 
      • Suspension of reporting and data exchange on nuclear weapon movements and other related developments.