The New START: extention impossible

Talking points on the issue of the New START at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

I. The Russian Federation and the United States continue to fully implement the provisions of the New START (START-3 in Russian), considering it an important practical arrangement in the field of strategic nuclear arms control between the two leading nuclear powers.

II. The Russian Federation drew attention to the reports appeared recently in U.S. media which claim that the current U.S. Administration allegedly intends to offer the Russian side to extend the validity of the New START for another five years after the end of its deadline in 2021, that is until 2026.

III. Moscow is ready to consider the respective official proposals from  Washington to extend the New START, if they come from the American side not through the media, but rather via official channels, because there is a practice of considering this issue under Article 14 of the Treaty.

IV. At the same time, it should be noted that such earlier consideration of the extension of the New START, when there is still nearly five years before the New START expires, would be premature.

V. In developing the respective Russian stance by the date the New START expires in 2021, the Russian side also cannot ignore the following considerations:

1) existing "interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms", and "that this interrelationship will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced” as set forth in the preamble of the New START;

2) ongoing process of uncontrolled deployment of strike combat assets of U.S. and NATO missile defense in the immediate vicinity of Russia's borders on ever larger scales;

3) continuing fielding of the U.S. tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of four countries in Europe and in the Asian part of Turkey, which can perform both tactical and strategic missions, including the deployment in the near future in Europe a new high-precision guided nuclear bombs B-61-12, which has a first nuclear strike capabilities;

4) preplanned updating of USAF aircraft to deliver new types of nuclear weapons as a land-based JSF F-35A and sea-based F-35C, as well as a new generation of heavy strategic bombers B-3;

5) containing in the current U.S. nuclear doctrine a directive to deliver a first preventive and preemptive nuclear strike, including versus Russia;

6) development in the USA long-range pin-point accuracy non-nuclear weapons and gradual movement towards implementation of the “Prompt Global Strike” concept;

7) Washington’s opposition to the commencement of the talks on prohibition of weapons’ emplacement in outer space;

8) lack of progress in the CTBT ratification at the national levels, including lack of its ratification by the USA;

9) uncontrolled building-up disbalance in conventional arms;

10) lack of full of confidence between Russia and the United States, which has been unfairly and deliberately undermined by Washington; persisting in the fundamental documents of the United States inadequate wording about the actions of Russia on the international arena, as well as unjustifiably imposed against Russia tough sanctions’ regime.

VI. Russia actually has fully used the possibilities aimed at further steps related to the New START, to be made jointly with the USA; in this case it is expedient to include into the relevant talks all nations possessing nuclear weapons’ capabilities, in particular the United Kingdom and France as military allies of the USA, having mutual commitments in the framework of offensive nuclear deterrence.

arms USA