Context: Russia has said it sees minimal chances of extending the New START treaty with the United States – their last major nuclear arms pact – as it does not accept conditions set out by Washington.
- The New START accord, signed in 2010, limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States can deploy and due to lapse in February 2021.
- It is a bipartisan process of verifiably reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals.
- Recently, the U.S. and Russia terminated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty that had limited the United States and Russia from fielding land-based missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres, both conventional and nuclear.
- The INF Treaty was the first pact to include intensive verification measures, including on-site inspections.
- Now only one major bilateral agreement, New START, limits the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.