New START is moribund, world faces new nuclear arms race — ex-Indian envoy to Russia


The decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START treaty will not be reversed any time soon because of the continuing rapid deterioration of US-Russia ties, basically, the treaty is moribund, Indian international relations expert and former Indian Ambassador to Russia Kanwal Sibal told TASS.

“President [of Russia] Putin has made it clear that Russia is not withdrawing from the New START Treaty. Russia is suspending its participation in it. In effect, it means the Treaty will be moribund as this suspension will not be lifted any time soon because of the continuing rapid deterioration of US-Russia ties,” the expert said.

According to Sibal, “the US is openly talking of defeating Russia strategically, durably weakening it militarily.” “The risk of the Ukraine conflict becoming nuclear if the West is determined to inflict a military defeat on Russia is being ignored,” the analyst stated. He predicted that “if the US goes in for nuclear testing, Russia will follow suit.”

New nuclear race
Sibal believes that “the international community will be concerned about the breakdown of the only remaining nuclear disarmament treaty and the re-emergence of a nuclear arms race which will put pressure on other nuclear weapon states to increase their arsenals-China is already doing it-and may incentivise some non-nuclear countries to go nuclear. Already some countries in Europe are talking of nuclear sharing,” the analyst said.

According to Sibal, India will be concerned too about these nuclear developments. However, New Delhi “will not attribute responsibility to any one country,” the expert concluded.

Suspension of Russia’s participation
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly said that Russia would suspend its participation in the New START treaty, but wouldn’t withdraw from it. The head of state said that before returning to the discussion of compliance with the treaty, Russia should understand how the arsenals of not only the United States, but also other NATO nuclear powers — the UK and France — will be accounted for by the treaty.