New START Treaty

The US President Joe Biden recently proposed to extend New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) Treaty by five years. Russia has welcomed the proposal.

Key Features of New START Treaty

  • The New START Treaty was signed between United States and Russia in 2010 in Prague (capital of Czech Republic). It entered into force in 2011.
  • The formal name of New START Treaty is “Measures for the further reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”.
  • The treaty was signed to reduce nuclear arms production and utilisation by US and Russia.
  • Under the treaty, the countries will reduce their strategic nuclear missile launchers by half.
  • The treaty established an inspection and verification regime replacing SORT.
  • It reduced the number deployable strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. This was 10% lower than the strategic warhead limit set by Moscow treaty signed by the countries in 2002.
  • It reduced the number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, inter-continental ballistic missile launchers, heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments to 800.
  • It reduced the number of heavy bombers equipped nuclear armaments to 700.
  • The treaty replaced Treaty of Moscow, also called SORT (Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty). The term Strategic offensive arms means nuclear warheads deployed by Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles.
  • It is the successor of START I framework signed between the counties in 1991 that limited the warheads of the countries to 6,000 and strategic delivery vehicles to 1,600. The START II treaty never entered into force and the negotiations of START III treaty never concluded.
  • The New START Treaty is to lapse in February 2021.

Time Line set by New START Treaty

The above obligations of reducing the nuclear warheads were to be achieved within a time frame of seven years from the date, the treaty entered into operation. The treaty will last for ten years. The countries may renew it till five years upon agreement by both the parties.

Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The INF Treaty was signed between US and Russia during the cold war period. It was signed in 1987. Under the treaty, the countries agreed to eliminate their stocks of short range and intermediate range missiles. The US withdrew from the treaty in 2019.

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