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New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

Topic covered:

  1. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Key features, significance, targets and the need for the treaty.

 

Context: Russia has warned that it was prepared to drop New START treaty with the U.S. and warned of “global catastrophe” if Washington keeps dismantling a global arms control regime.

  • It alleged that 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.

 

About New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty):

It is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

It was signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and, after ratification entered into force on 5 February 2011.

New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was due to expire in December 2012. Its name is a follow-up to the START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, the proposed START II treaty, which never entered into force, and the START III treaty, for which negotiations were never concluded.

 

Under terms of the treaty:

  • The number of strategic nuclear missile launchers will be reduced by half.
  • A new inspection and verification regime will be established, replacing the SORT mechanism.
  • The number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads is limited to 1,550, which is down nearly two-thirds from the original START treaty, as well as 10% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
  • It will also limit the number of deployed and non-deployed inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments to 800. The number of deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments is limited to 700.

 

Timeline to meet these Targets:

These obligations must be met within seven years from the date the treaty enters into force. The treaty will last ten years, with an option to renew it for up to five years upon agreement of both parties.

 

Sources: the Hindu.

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