Why did Putin suspend Russia’s participation in New START?

Source: The post is based on the article “Why did Putin suspend Russia’s participation in New START?” published in The Hindu on 28th February 2023

What is the News?

The Russian President has announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty, the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia.

What is the New START Treaty?

The New START Treaty was signed by the then-US President and then-Russian president in 2010. The treaty came into force in 2011 and was extended in 2021 for five more years.

Under the Treaty, America and Russia cannot deploy more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and more than 700 long ­range missiles and bombers.It also limits each country to 800 deployed and non­ deployed launchers and delivery vehicles. 

Additionally, the treaty allows each side to carry out up to 18 short notice (32 hours) on ­site inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites annually to ensure that the other country.

Compliance of the treaty: The treaty gave the US and Russia seven years to reduce their stockpiles, including nuclear warheads that are launched using long-range missiles, submarines, and bombers.In 2018, both nations met the arms limits prescribed by the pact.

– However, inspections under the treaty have stalled in the past three years. They were first put on hold in March 2020 owing to the COVID­19 pandemic.Russia and the US were due to discuss the restarting of inspections in November 2022, but this was postponed by the Russian President.There has been no development in this regard since.

Why did Russia suspend the treaty?

The Russian President has said that it is suspending the treaty as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO) and the U.S wanted to “inflict ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia and “try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time”.

Russia also accused the U.S. of rejecting Russian requests for visits to specific U.S. facilities.The U.S State Department also stated that Moscow was not complying with the pact as it had not let Washington carry out on-site inspections.

Will this suspension lead to an arms race?

The Russian President said that the country is not withdrawing from the treaty entirely. But Russia will not allow US countries to inspect its nuclear arsenal.

Analysts believe it is entirely symbolic since Russia had not been permitting inspections anyway.As per them, the move appears to be aimed at pressuring the US President and his allies so that Russia can dictate the terms under which the war would come to an end.

Print Friendly and PDF