The United States government has called out Russia on violating the treaty that supposedly mandate countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals. Furthermore, reports also indicate that Russia deployed more warheads and increased it arsenal unlike the United States.
According to the document released by the U.S. State Department’s arms control and treaty verification bureau, Russia nuclear arsenal numbers ought to worry US lawmakers about Moscow’s true military intentions. Throughout the years, President Vladimir Putin and his administration has invested heavily for the improvement of weaponry, equipment and training for its military forces. There were also investments on ballistic missile submarines including other missile systems, according to Radio Free Europe.
When looking at the numbers, Russia supposedly deployed around 200 warheads more compared to 2011 – the time when the NEW START treaty came into place. This is different from what the United States has done. Washington reportedly reduced its warhead count in accordance to the limit under the New START. Specifically, Russia increased its warhead count from 1,566 (in 2011) to 1,735.
In the previous week, assistant secretary for arms control at the U.S. State Department, Frank Rose, said that Russia is guilty of breaching post-Cold War agreements though not New START specifically.
“My personal view is that Russia no longer sees value in that [security] architecture put in place at the end of the Cold War,” Financial Times quoted Rose. The official pointed to Russia’s reported testing of medium-range ballistic missiles and withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
“They are slowly but surely taking out the key building blocks of the Euro-Atlantic architecture put in place in the late 80s and 90s,” said Rose.
Nonetheless, Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said that: “Overall, the New START numbers only count a fraction of the total nuclear warheads that Russia and the United States have in their arsenals. The treaty does not count weapons at bomber bases or central storage, additional ICBM and submarine warheads in storage, or non-strategic nuclear warheads.”
There have been several thoughts on why Russia’s number increased including its modernization efforts. Nonetheless, this does not refute reports that the country has been igniting tensions across the globe earning political ire in the process.