Friday, October 9, 2020
9:00 – 10:15am Eastern time
via Zoom webinar
In four months, the last treaty limiting the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals is due to expire. If the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) lapses with nothing to replace it, there would be no legally-binding limits on the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals for the first time since 1972.
However, the treaty permits an extension “for a period of no more than five years” so long as both the U.S. and Russian presidents agree to it.
Russia has offered to extend New START by five years without any preconditions, but the Trump administration has conditioned extension on Russian support for changes to the New START verification system and acceptance of a new framework that limits all types of nuclear warheads and that can involve China in the future.
Russia has rejected the U.S. offer, which it calls “absolutely unrealistic.” In response, Trump officials say they will “raise the price” for New START extension after November. Unless President Trump adjusts course, or Joe Biden is elected in November, there is a high risk that New START will disappear.
Our speakers, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and the panelists explained the value of New START, evaluated the Trump administration’s approach, and outlined pathways for extending the treaty, pursuing negotiations on deeper nuclear reductions, and guarding against an unconstrained arms race if New START is allowed to expire.
- Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), co-sponsor of the "Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces" Act
- Alexandra Bell, senior policy director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
- Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association
- Kingston Reif, moderator, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy, Arms Control Association
A question and answer session followed both the speaker’s remarks and the panel. This event was open to the press and is on the record.