Sweden called on the USA and Russia to extend the “New START” treaty and China to join the negotiations.
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that Sweden was calling on the US and Russia to extend the “New START” treaty. Also, Löfven added that he urged China to join the negotiations on strategic arms control. Löfven said in the video broadcast in the UNSC hall, “We invite the US and Russia to agree on the extension of the New START and China to join the discussions on follow-up treaties.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously proposed an extension of the agreement for five years without preconditions. Meanwhile, the US administration insists on including China in negotiations for a new tripartite nuclear agreement. The US also proposes to extend the deal to include a number of new weapon classes.
What is the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)?
The new START, known as the “Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement” was signed on April 8, 2010, in Prague. The effective date of the agreement, whose parties are the USA and the Russian Federation, was February 5, 2011. The main purpose of the agreement was to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the inventory. The agreement would limit both countries to 1550 warheads and 700 bombers. In addition, the establishment of a commission to convene twice a year in Geneva to carry out the process was adopted.
Recently, US President Donald Trump stated that he was interested in extending the term of the treaty. Renewal talks are expected to begin, as the current agreement will expire in February 2021. The only impediment to these new talks seems to be the US administration’s insistence on China’s accession to the treaty.