WASHINGTON, October 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to extend the New START Treaty unconditionally for one year without freezing nuclear warheads is seen as a non-starter, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said in a written message to TASS on Friday.
"President Putin’s response today to extend New START without freezing nuclear warheads is a non-starter. The United States is serious about arms control that will keep the entire world safe. We hope that Russia will reevaluate its position before a costly arms race ensues," he stated.
He recalled that his country "proposed an extension of New START for one year, in exchange for Russia and the United States capping all nuclear warheads during that period." "This would have been a win for both sides, and we believed the Russians were willing to accept this proposal when I met with my counterpart [Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev] in Geneva," he added.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council that it would be right to extend the treaty unconditionally for at least one year "to have a possibility to hold meaningful talks on all the parameters of the problems that are regulated by such treaties." He asked Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to try to receive "any clear answer" from the United States the soonest possible.
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.
In an interview with the Financial Times in late June 2019 Russian President Vladimir Putin said that once this treaty ceased to exist, "then there would be no instrument in the world to curtail the arms race.".