MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Moscow and Washington maintain contact through diplomatic channels on the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, known as the New START, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists while answering a question to comment on the prospects of extending the treaty after 2021.
"Certain contacts are being made through diplomatic channels, so I would recommend addressing this issue to the Foreign Ministry," Peskov said.
The New START took effect in 2011. Based on the accord, each party reduces its strategic offensive arms so that seven years after it enters into force (that is in 2018) and in the future the aggregate amount should not exceed 700 units for deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and heavy bombers (TB). It also includes 1,550 warheads for them, 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM and SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers.
The New START Treaty will remain in force for 10 years, until 2021, unless it is replaced before that date by a subsequent agreement on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. It can also be extended for no longer than 5 years (that is, until 2026) by the parties’ mutual consent.
According to a statement published on Monday on the website of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, in the near future Moscow will hand over an official notification to the United States confirming that Russia is in full compliance with its obligations under the treaty.
The ministry said that as of February 5, 2018, Russia’s total potential is 527 units for operational intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), operational submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and operational heavy bombers. That also includes 1,444 warheads on operational intercontinental ballistic missiles, operational submarine-launched ballistic missiles and for operational heavy bombers, along with 779 operational and non-deployed ballistic missile launchers, operational and non-deployed submarine-based ballistic missile launchers and operational and non-deployed heavy bombers.
The Russian Foreign Ministry however noted that the Russian side has doubts about the US fulfillment of one of the treaty’s provisions, namely that Moscow does not consider the re-equipment and re-qualification of a part of the weapons as a real reduction. In its turn, the US State Department reported on Monday that Washington had reduced its arsenals to the levels stipulated by the New START, in August 2017.