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New START nearing expiration, NPT experiencing serious shocks — Russian diplomat

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov called the deplorable situation in the field of arms control

WASHINGTON, September 29. /TASS/. The New START Treaty is nearing its expiration and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is experiencing serious shocks, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in an article published on the website of the US’ National Interest magazine on Wednesday.

He noted that the situation in the sphere of arms control is deplorable. "The ABM and INF treaties have sunk into oblivion. The Open Skies Treaty has virtually ceased to exist," he said. "The New START Treaty is approaching the end of its duration and, as we have repeatedly said, is not fully implemented by the American side. The NPT is experiencing serious shocks."

"No one can foretell what will happen next," he stressed, adding that "all of this is a result of U.S. policy." "Washington withdrew from the treaties in order to gain security advantages, especially in confronting Russia. It is in a constant search for opportunities to achieve global military dominance," he explained.

"Over previous decades, the NATO military machine has approached Russia’s borders in several "waves"—where a powerful striking fist was raised over my Motherland," the Russian ambassador emphasized. "We warned our colleagues that such steps were counterproductive, increased the risk of an arms race, and we could not ignore the aggravating threats along the perimeter of the Russian boundaries."

He recalled his participation in "in discussions on the harmfulness of global missile defense, the importance of respecting international commitments on strategic stability, and the danger of deploying shorter-and intermediate-range missiles in Europe."

"Russian exhortations turned out to be in vain," he stated. "The last straw that broke the camel’s back was NATO’s attempt to launch the military-technical exploitation of Ukraine and cultivate in Kiev a regime desiring to wage a bloody war against Russia."

New START and NPT Treaties

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.

In February 2021, Moscow and Washington extended the treaty, described by the Russian authorities as the golden standard in the sphere of disarmament, for the maximal possible five year. The current US administration has repeatedly signaled that it considers the New START as a very important document and wants to keep it in place.

After a month of work, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in late August failed to adopt a final document. Western delegations insisted on including provisions expressing concern over the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and stressing the necessity of sending IAEA inspections there as soon as possible. Russia’s delegation however noted that the document covers a review period of five years, for which reason it is necessary to focus on global issue rather than to politicize a concrete situation, which can be settled soon. Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Geneva Office and other Geneva-based international organizations Andrey Belousov placed the blame for the lack of consensus on Ukraine and its sponsors.