IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th August, 2022 International Relations

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Context: Russia told the United States it would not allow its weapons to be inspected under the START nuclear arms control treaty for the time being because of travel restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies.



  • The New START Treaty, which came into force in 2011, caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the United States and Russia can deploy, and the deployment of land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.
  • S. President Joe Biden said that his administration was ready to "expeditiously" negotiate a framework to replace New START, which is due to expire in 2026, if Moscow demonstrated its willingness to resume work on nuclear arms control.
  • But Russia's mission to the United Nations said Washington had withdrawn from separate talks with Moscow on strategic stability over the Ukraine conflict, and needed to decide what it wanted.

The Treaty:

  • It is a treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.
  • It came into force on 5th February, 2011.
  • New START has replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which terminated when New START entered into force.
  • The START Framework of 1991 (at the end of the Cold War) limited both sides to 1,600 strategic delivery vehicles and 6,000 warheads.
  • The May 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Moscow Treaty, committed the United States and Russia to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,700-2,200 warheads apiece.
  • It continues the bipartisan process of verifiably reducing the USA and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals by limiting both sides to 700 strategic launchers and 1,550 operational warheads.
  • It was to lapse in February 2021, but after receiving renewal approval from USA and Russia, will be extended for a five-year period.