Extending New START in the face of failure because the US does not trust Russia
Russia has formally notified the United States through a diplomatic note sent in late 2019 that it wants to extend the New START Treaty.
“Russia has reaffirmed its readiness at the highest level to extend this treaty without any preconditions as urgently as possible” said Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister.
Known as the New START Agreement, this is the last major treaty linking the US and Russia nuclear arsenals. It was agreed by the Barack Obama administration and limits the number of warheads. There are also restrictions on the deployment of weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The contract also defines the regime of 18 on-site inspections that are carried out each year. The contract expires in February 2021. The agreement itself has the option of extending it to 2026.
Many Trump Republican allies in Congress, however, oppose the treaty, arguing that it restricts the United States while China is not part of it. In addition, Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its commitments after demonstratingly breaching a treaty for the elimination of medium-range missiles before the US withdraws from it. Apparently in Washington, they are looking too cautiously at Russia’s desire to extend New START as they do not see in Moskow a predictable and honorable opponent.