News Excerpt
United States of America has rejected Russian proposal for an unconditional one-year extension of the nuclear arms reduction accord known as New START Treaty.  

Pre-Connect
•    New START continues the bipartisan process of verifiably reducing U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals begun by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
•    New START is the first verifiable U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty to take effect since START I in 1994.
•    The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed on April 8, 2010, in Prague by the United States and Russia and entered into force on Feb. 5, 2011. New START replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired December 2009.
•    New START does not prohibit either side from deploying conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles.

Treaty Obligations
    The aggregate limits of the Treaty restrict the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads each, well below the cold war caps.
    The United States and Russia must implement the necessary reductions to reach these limits no later than seven years after the Treaty’s entry into force.
    Within the aggregate limits, each State has the flexibility to determine the structure of its strategic forces.
    Verification measures include national technical means e.g. satellites, on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring.
    To increase transparency and confidence, the Treaty also provides for the annual exchange of telemetry data on a parity basis.

Analytica
    New START is one of the key controls on superpower deployment of nuclear weapons.
    In the past years, the treaty worked properly, fulfilled its fundamental role of limiting, curbing the arms race. The two countries declared they have met the limits for strategic nuclear forces in time limit prescribed by the treaty.
    However, recent developments have raised doubts about the future of the treaty. USA has rejected the proposal of Russia to extend the treaty for 1 year which is set to expire in 2021 as Russia did not agree to additional conditions by USA.
    The deployed strategic warhead numbers counted under New START represent only a portion of the total number of warheads the two countries have in the arsenals.
    The US is also concerned about the rising stockpile of nuclear weapons with china and hence intends to establish a new arms control regime which includes china.

Why is it important to save New START treaty?
    Neither of the two powers can afford to abandon the only strategic limitations treaty and its verification regime. Failing this most basic responsibility would, especially in the current political climate, remove any caps on strategic nuclear forces and potentially open the door to a new nuclear arms race.
    The warning signs are all there: East and West are in an official adversarial relationship, increasing military posturing, modernizing and adding nuclear weapons to their arsenals, and adjusting their nuclear policies for a return to Great Power competition.
    The world expects both these powers to play the leading role in ensuring global security and safety of nuclear materials and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
    Increasing the transparency of global nuclear stockpiles has great significance for effective work on non-proliferation and for further arms reductions. The new Treaty lays the ground for involving other nuclear powers in fulfilling the goals of the NPT and gives us new opportunities for strengthening strategic stability.

Conclusion
New START is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades. The Treaty will ensure predictability and mutual confidence between the countries with the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals. Therefore, the symbolic and practical importance of a comprehensive and verifiable arms control regime cannot be emphasized enough.