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Nuclear arms Control Regime may end in 2026, Russia to US

LONDON: Russia warns the US that the last remaining pillar of the bilateral nuclear arms control regime could expire in 2026 without a replacement due to what it said were US efforts to inflict “strategic defeat” on Moscow in Ukraine.

Despite currently partially limited by the 2011 New START Treaty, both countries still have vast arsenals of N-weapons. The treaty was last extended in 2021until 2026.

The treaty caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that the US and Russia can deploy. The cap also includes deployment of land and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them.

While Washington has indicated to reach a follow-on agreement with Russia, it’s unclear yet what comes after Feb 4, 2026.

The biateral talks on resuming inspections under the treaty were called off at the last minute in November 2022. Neither side has agreed on a time frame for new talks.

No Treaty a Possible Scenario

When asked if Moscow could envisage there being no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told media, “This is quite a possible scenario.”

Ryabkov, Russia’s top arms control diplomat, said the US had in recent years ignored Russia’s interests and dismantled most of the architecture of arms control.

US State department

The US State Department spokesperson earlier this week however shared that Russia is violating key nuclear arms control agreement with the US by continuing to refuse to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.

The History

A history spanning over the past five decades shows that U.S. and Russian leaders have used a progression of bilateral agreements and other measures to limit and reduce their substantial nuclear warhead and strategic missile and bomber arsenals.

Beginning with the SALT treaties that focused limiting production of nukes, the two moved to sign START treaties. The latter focused on reducing the number of arsenals.

Zahra Sikandar
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