Russian Expert Believes Moscow Sent Washington A Signal That It’s Time to Extend New START

By laying out the conditions under which Moscow reserves the right to a nuclear strike, Russia sent the US a signal that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START treaty) needs to be extended, Russian military expert and retired Major General Vladimir Dvorkin told Interfax on Tuesday.

“This may be a way to finally force Trump to extend the New START. The issue of extending the treaty is still open. This could have been some kind of signal to Trump,” Dvorkin said.

In the past, Dvorkin headed the 4th Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense, which provides scientific support for the development of the Strategic Missile Forces and the Aerospace Defense Forces.

The New START treaty will expire in 2021. Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington to promptly begin meaningful negotiations on the extension of the New START, but the American side has been slow to respond.

A decree on nuclear deterrent policy issued on Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin sets a list of the main dangers that, depending on changes in the military, political and strategic situation, can develop into military threats (threats of aggression) against the Russian Federation and expresses willingness to use nuclear deterrence to neutralize such threats.

Russia may employ nuclear deterrence in response to a number of actions by a potential enemy if there is a threat of aggression against the Russian Federation.

One such threat is defined as "the build-up by a potential enemy of general-purpose military forces with nuclear weapon delivery vehicles in territories adjacent to the Russian Federation or its allies and in adjacent bodies of water.”

Another threat is defined as “the deployment of missile defense systems and technology, medium- and shorter-range cruise and ballistic missiles, high-precision non-nuclear and hypersonic weapons, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and directed energy weapons by states that consider the Russian Federation a potential enemy.”

Moscow’s list also includes "the creation and deployment in space of anti-ballistic missile defense systems and strike systems," "the possession by a state of nuclear weapons and/or other types of weapons of mass destruction that can be used against the Russian Federation and/or its allies, and the means to deliver these types of weapons," the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, delivery vehicles, technologies, and equipment for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and “the deployment of nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles in the territories of non-nuclear states."

Source: Interfax AVN