WASHINGTON, January 12. /TASS/. A five-year extension of the New START Treaty will give time for comprehensive talks between Russia and the United States on future control over nuclear weapons, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday during the online seminar on the prospects for arms control after the US elections.
"The extension of New START for a 5-year period will allow us to maintain the current ceilings on strategic offensive weapons as well as the level of transparency and predictability in US-Russia strategic relations," the Russian embassy quoted him as saying on its Facebook account. "It is also equally important that we could use the time gained as a result of New START prolongation to hold comprehensive bilateral talks on the future of nuclear and missile arms control. In these discussions the sides would consider all the factors affecting strategic stability. Namely - missile defense, shorter-and intermediate-range ground-based missiles, Global Strike systems, hypersonic delivery vehicles, future space weapons, etc."
Russia, in his words, insists on developing a new "security equation" which would take into account advanced weapon systems, emerging technologies, and current political realities. "We suggest that future arms control should not be limited to traditional strategic arms such as ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers. We deem it necessary to include in the said equation all nuclear and non-nuclear weapons that could accomplish strategic tasks," he said, adding that the US side was informed about this position during the strategic stability consultations.
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 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 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) upon the parties’ mutual consent.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay prolongation of the treaty it describes as the gold standards in the area of disarmament. The US President Donald Trump administration insisted China be invited to sign the treaty as well but Beijing turned down the idea. During his election campaign, US President-elect Joe Biden spoke in favor of extending the treaty.