Embassy of the Russian Federation in the USA
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22 december / 2020

Embassy Comment on the 10th Anniversary of the New START Treaty ratification by the U.S. Senate

Ten years ago, on December 22, 2010, the US Senate voted 71-26 to ratify the Russia-US New START Treaty, exceeding the two-thirds majority required by law. Speaking to the press after the vote, President Barack Obama said that the Treaty would make America safer, reduce the nuclear stockpiles of the two countries, and “advance our relationship with Russia which is essential to making progress on a host of challenges.” 

Today, New START is the last bilateral agreement verifiably and transparently limiting world’s two largest nuclear arsenals. Since it entered into force on February 5, 2011 the total number of warheads covered by the Treaty has been reduced by one-third, and the number of delivery vehicles by more than half. 

New START also plays an important role in bolstering mutual transparency and predictability. As of December 2020, Russian and US teams have carried out 328 on-site inspections, visiting each other’s missile, submarine, and bomber bases. The two sides have also exchanged over 21 thousand notifications on the status of their strategic offensive arms. 

As things stay now, the Treaty is doomed to expire on February 5, 2021. President Vladimir Putin’s proposal from December 2019 to extend it for 5 years without preconditions still stands. The extension will give Russia and the US time to find common ground on the ways to adopt the arms control regime to today’s security environment. 

We call the US side to use what little time we have left till February 5 to save New START for the benefit of our two countries and the whole world.