Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia is not particularly optimistic about a possible extension of the New START nuclear arms-control treaty with the United States. U.S. and Russian envoys had previously held talks in Vienna to discuss a replacement for the pact, but Washington wants Beijing to be included in any future agreements on nuclear weapons. China has repeatedly rejected trilateral talks on nuclear weapons, arguing that it has a much smaller nuclear arsenal than the United States and Russia.
New START Treaty
The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, also known as the New START Treaty, entered into force on February 5, 2011. Under the Treaty, the United States and Russia must meet the Treaty’s central limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018; seven years from the date the Treaty entered into force.
New START replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which terminated when New START entered into force. New START continues the bipartisan process of verifiably reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals.
- 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments;
- 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
- 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
Verification measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for an annual exchange of telemetry on an agreed number of ICBM and SLBM launches.