Polina Sinovets's presentation at the 8th meeting of the EU Nonproliferation and Disarmament Consortium

On June 12th Polina Sinovets took part in the 8th consultative meeting of the EU Nonproliferation and Disarmament Consortium. She talked at "The Future of Strategic Arms Control" Panel.

The main points of her presentation "The future of strategic arms control: the NEW START Treaty" are the following: for today the New START remains the last strategic arms control treaty functioning. Having been signed by Russia and the US in 2010 it was supposed to limit strategic nuclear warheads of two nuclear superpowers to 1550, carriers to 700 and deployed launchers to 800. These ceilings were already reached by Moscow and Washington by 2018 however the future destiny of the New START is still vague. On one hand Moscow does not accept the compliance of the US with the Treaty which is connected with their manner to convert the SLBM launchers. On the other even if the New START will be fully implemented one of the inherent needs of the arms control is to extend it for 5 more years, the condition, initially included in the Treaty text. The latter goal turns to be complicated enough. The Trump administration expressed its interest in signing the new treaty instead of extending the New START while it happens in the moment when the dialogue of Moscow and Washington is overburdened with the mutual distrust. It is based not only on the general political situation around Russia but also on the lowering of the nuclear thresholds in the both states’ doctrines as well as the active nuclear arms modernization processes. The suspension of the INF Treaty by both parties also slows down prospective of the mutual agreement as the same time bolstering the arms race. Meanwhile in case if the New START won’t be extended it will open the arms control treaties vacuum, bringing us back to the era of 1960s when nuclear superiority did matter. Those times the accidental nuclear war could happen just because of mutual misperception resulting from the lack of transparency and the clear information of the rivals about each other. The repetition of such situation is more than possible at the moment, so the extension of the New START becomes the urgent need for arms control regime. At least it can buy time for building more constructive dialogue between parties when they would negotiate further mutual reductions of the weapons they currently concern.