Russian Deputy FM: Any Agreement to Replace New START Treaty Requires Discussing U.S. Missile Defense


A five-year extension of the arms reduction treaty came into force earlier this month, as Moscow and Washington managed to find common ground before the deal expired to preserve global peace and security, Sputnik reports.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stated that any possible replacement of the New START treaty with a new pact would be impossible without a discussion concerning U.S. missile defense.

“If the US is not ready to move on [this] then there are little chances of having a new deal to replace the New START, we should focus on the missile defence problem. Otherwise, arms control will be in question,” Ryabkov said at a press conference.

The diplomat also noted that Russia and the United States have begun negotiating a schedule of checks and consultations that are part of the extended New START deal.

“As for inspections, they have to be renewed, we are now working on it. We are launching a procedure that involves different agencies to restore all of that,” Ryabkov said.

According to him, the US is duly complying with the extended New START treaty, but there is still an issue with the records for ballistic missiles.

“For example, when it comes to the New START treaty, we can see that Washington is fairly responsible regarding its compliance, except the well-known issues with the listing of some of the reworked missiles. We have mentioned it and will keep talking about it because the treaty has been extended,” Ryabkov said.

New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) entered into force on 5 February 2011. The agreement stipulates that each side will reduce its nuclear arsenals, aiming to decrease the total number of weapons in 7 years, so it does not exceed 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missiles on submarines and heavy bombers, as well as 1,550 warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers.

New START was set to expire on 5 February 2021 but was prolonged until February 2026.