CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES REGARDING THE EXTENSION OF THE “NEW START” TREATY: CAN THE USA AND RUSSIA PRESERVE EXISTING STRATEGIC ARMS CONTROL?
Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on measures for further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (“New START”) is the last pillar of the arms control regime on which the end of the Cold War and the new world order rested. Its expiration on 5 February 2021 is a top security challenge and indicates a possible new strategic arms race. However, can the United States and Russia still preserve the existing strategic arms control by extending the Treaty for another five years? What are the prospects, the opportunities and obstacles for this extension? What are the most pressing issues USA and Russia face with in order to preserve strategic arms control and are they willing to do so? In order to answer to these research questions author analyses several key issues that are of paramount importance for extension of the New START: nuclear modernization processes, invention of new weapons and emergence of new warfare domains; transparency and verification and broader confidence building measures; missile defence and prompt global strike; tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and Asia; general US-Russia relations which include question of democratic capacity; and broader influence of this Treaty on nuclear non-proliferation regime. By using content and discourse analysis author concludes that, although it is obvious that the extension of the New START would be primarily in favour of Russia and that the USA has not much to gain, the character of strategic stability in the Third Nuclear Age gives reasons to believe that the New START will be extended for another five years.
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