Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Governance, Social Justice and IR
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Why in News:

  • President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is prepared to drop a nuclear arms control agreement with the US, known as New START, if there was a lack of interest in renewing it.

Background: / More in News:

  • Putin said Washington showed no genuine interest in conducting talks on extending the New START treaty, which caps the number of nuclear warheads well below Cold War limits.
  • Putin said the potential implications of letting New START treaty expire would be huge, suggesting its demise could fuel a nuclear arms race.
  • Together with another agreement is known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, New START is considered a centrepiece of superpower arms control.

New START Treaty:

  • The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and entered into force on Feb. 5, 2011.
  • New START replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired December 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which terminated when New START entered into force.
  • It is one of the key controls on superpower deployment of nuclear weapons.
  • The treaty limits the US and Russia to a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, well below Cold War caps.

INF Nuclear Treaty:

  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF treaty, ban Russia and the United States from possessing, producing or conducting test flights of ground-launched cruise missiles and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,420 miles). It allows sea-based and air-delivered missiles at those ranges as well as research and development of ground-launched systems.
  • The 1987 treaty was signed between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • It remained in force even after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    In Feb, The US announced its intention to withdraw from the treaty in six months.

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