Why in News?
- Russia has recently announced to suspend its participation in the New START, the last remaining major military agreement with the United States.
- The name START comes from the original “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty”, known as START-I, which was signed between the US and the erstwhile USSR in 1991, and came into force in 1994.
- START-I, which capped the numbers of nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that each side could deploy at 6,000 and 1,600 respectively, lapsed in 2009, and was replaced first by the SORT, also known as the Treaty of Moscow), and then by the New START treaty.
- The New START, the “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”, entered into force on 5th February 2011, and placed new verifiable limits on intercontinental-range nuclear weapons.
- The two countries had to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms by February 2018, and to then stay within those limits for the period the treaty remained in force.
- The US and Russia Federation subsequently agreed to extend the treaty through February 2026
- A suspension of the treaty may mean that it will be harder for the US to monitor compliance.
- Since Russia has already suspended mutual inspections of nuclear weapons sites and participation in a bilateral consultative commission, it would be a serious blow if Putin went further and stopped routine reporting and data exchange on nuclear weapon movements and other related developments.
- The move Is” entirely symbolic” and most probably Russia made the announcement to pressure US into approaching Russia about ending the war, so Russia can dictate the terms under which that would happen