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Russian embassy: Conservative US political analysts distort facts related to New START

The critics of the Treaty cite several "failures," the embassy says

WASHINGTON, May 30. /TASS/. Conservative US political analysts misrepresent the provisions of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), misleading the audience, the Russian Embassy in the United States said in its statement published on Wednesday.

"We have taken note of recent increasing attacks by conservative political analysts against the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and Russia’s arms control record. We deem it necessary to point out some of their blatant misrepresentations of facts that mislead the audience and create a distorted picture of the actual state of affairs," the embassy said.

The critics of the Treaty cite several "failures," the embassy says. First, they claim that New START has allowed Russia to increase its countable nuclear weapons. "In fact, under New START Russia has reduced its nuclear arsenal… It means Russia is currently 176 deployed launchers and 89 warheads below the Treaty limits."

The diplomats also criticized the US claims that the Treaty’s verification system is ineffective. "This statement goes against assurances of numerous US officials (including General John Hyten, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command) that New START serves US national security interests precisely because its monitoring regime provides transparency and insight into the other party’s nuclear forces," the statement said.

Besides, the embassy refutes the US statements that Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons are not included in New START.

"The above misinterpretations often result from the protracted break in the bilateral dialogue on strategic stability. We have repeatedly called for its resumption in a candid and mutually beneficial manner," the statement notes.

The embassy stresses that Russia is open to discuss all the relevant issues, including concerns about new kinds of strategic offensive arms, in the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC).

Tim Morrison, a director at the National Security Council, told an arms control forum hosted by the Hudson Institute on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump would decide in 2020 whether Washington will extend New START with Russia.

New START Treaty

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) was signed in 2010 and it entered into force on February 5, 2011.

The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (i.e. until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.

Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of the possibility of prolonging the Treaty.