About the treaty
- The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed in 2010 by Russia and the United States and entered into force in 2011.
- New START replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired in 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT).
- New START caps the deployed strategic nuclear warheads and bombs of the United States at Russia at 1,550 each. The Treaty includes limits on missiles, bombers, and land-based launchers for nuclear weapons.
- The Treaty also allows for verification inspections and information-sharing.
- The New Start Treaty is due to expire this month.
Why in News?
- The United States has extended the New START nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia for five years.
- Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off the legislation extending the accord.
- The New START treaty is the last remaining arms reduction pact between the former Cold War rivals.
Open Skies Treaty (OST)
- First proposed in 1955 by former US President Dwight Eisenhower as a means to deescalate tensions during the Cold War, the landmark treaty was eventually signed in 1992 between NATO members and former Warsaw Pact countries following the demise of the Soviet Union.
- It went into effect in 2002 and had 35 signatories, including key players US and Russia, along with one non-ratifying member (Kyrgyzstan). India is not a signatory to the treaty.
Treaty in Detail
- The OST aims at building confidence among members through mutual openness, thus reducing the chances of accidental war. It allows countries to monitor signatories’ arms development by conducting unarmed, surveillance flights over each other’s territories.
- For each state party or group of state parties, the treaty specifies an active quota, the number of observation overflights it may conduct per year, and a passive quota, the number of overflights it must accept.
- The information gathered, such as on troop movements, military exercises and missile deployments, has to be shared with all member states. Only approved imaging equipment is permitted on the surveillance flights, and officials from the host state can also stay on board throughout the planned journey.
- Last year, the U.S. gave notice that it will exit the Open Skies Treaty alleging Russia had continuously and flagrantly violated the treaty.
- Recently, Russia also announced that it was pulling out of the Open Skies treaty, saying that the pact had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty
- Signed in 1987, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.
- As a result of the treaty, both countries destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles.
- In 2019, the U.S. announced its formal withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty accusing Russia of breaching the terms of the deal.
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