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United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race

Can Russia And The U.S. Agree To Keep A Lid On Their Nuclear Arsenals?  Radio Free Europe, December 15, 2019 By Mike Eckel 

  One major Cold War-era weapons treaty has collapsed. Another, aimed at building trust among the United States, Russia, and other countries, is under severe strain. Washington and Moscow are modernizing their arsenals, building new, more advanced weapons.

By most accounts, the United States and Russia are on the verge of a new arms race, if not already in one.

But last month, something unusual happened: U.S. inspectors traveled to Russia to examine a new missile that Moscow says is super-fast. The demonstration was “aimed at facilitating efforts to ensure the viability and efficiency of New START,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The move has arms control observers wondering whether, despite poisoned relations, Moscow and Washington may in fact find a way to agree to extend the biggest — and last — major weapons treaty restraining the holders of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals.

Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher with the Russian International Affairs Council, said the inspection of the weapon — called Avangard by Russian military designers — was a demonstration that Moscow was eager to extend New START.

“It is more like an offer: See, we will [give] you transparency on some new weapons and probably some more in the future, but we have to extend the treaty for it to work,” he told RFE/RL. “And we expect the same from you, when your modernization of strategic weapons reaches fruition.”

Large Arsenals

Signed in 2010 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, New START limited the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals by capping the numbers of delivery systems — long-range bombers, silo-based land missiles, and submarine-launched missiles — and deployed warheads.

As of September 1, Russia had 513 deployed strategic launchers with 1,426 warheads, according to State Department figures. The United States deploys 668 strategic launchers with 1,376 warheads, according to the data……

The treaty expires in February 2021, although provisions allow for it to be prolonged by five years if both sides agree. ….. https://www.rferl.org/a/new-hope-for-new-start-can-russia-and-the-u-s-agree-to-keep-a-lid-on-their-nuclear-arsenals-/30326546.html

December 16, 2019 - Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war

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