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Lyudmila Vorobieva "The New START Treaty is a Cornerstone of International Security"

Article by H.E. Mrs Lyudmila Vorobieva, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Indonesia

The New START Treaty is a Cornerstone of International Security


On February 3, 2021 the Russian-US Treaty on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) was extended until February 5, 2026 without any amendments or additions.

This consensus became the result of painstaking work that overturned years of stagnation in strategic dialogue between Russia and the US – the first telephone conversation between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the US leader Joe Biden on January 26, 2021 gave long-awaited impetus to the process.

Extension of the Treaty became the only acceptable decision, which meets national interests of both sides. On the one hand, Russia and the United States will be able to maintain the necessary level of mutual predictability and transparency in the sphere of strategic offensive arms. On the other, the Treaty’s extension disrupts the dangerous trend of weakening political and diplomatic mechanisms of international security. According to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, we opened a new window of opportunity for diplomatic search for promising arms control agreements.

In this regard, Russia is willing to start working on this without delay, as soon as Washington is ready. We have everything in place: political will, well thought-out approaches, an established interagency team.

The essence of Russia’s standpoint is to create a new “strategic equation” between Russia and the USA that should embrace the entire spectrum of both nuclear and non-nuclear offensive and defensive arms that are capable of resolving strategic tasks. Talking about strategic defensive systems, we refer to missile defense weapons. We are committed to the principle of inextricable connection between strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms fixed in the New START Treaty.

Russia-US strategic dialogue should also focus on elaboration of common approaches to ensuring security in outer space exploration and preventing arms race in space, as well as initiatives aimed at maintaining predictability and restraint in a world free from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces.

Obviously, a treaty alone is unlikely to include all these elements. In our view, the sides could adopt a package of interlinked agreements through mutual consent that could have a different status. Only equitable dialogue can lead to balanced and mutually acceptable commitments. We note and welcome Washington’s signals to be open for launching a new stage of bilateral strategic dialogue.

By offering our expanded and largely new strategic agenda, we invite our colleagues to jointly analyze the existing challenges and look for ways of overcoming or at least minimizing them.

Extension of the New START Treaty gives us the necessary however not too long time for this. It is important to make the most of it. This is exactly what Russia will do.


Published in The Jakarta Post on March 13, 2021: