Pentagon chief wants to include all modern Russian weapons into New START
Mark Esper wants to include all of Russia’s new weapons into the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, said that in the case New START Treaty is going to be extended, then the US “needs to make sure” that all of the new weapons that Russia is perusing will be included.
Russia is “clearly […] trying to expand their strategic nuclear arsenal […] to deal with the United States,” he was quoted by For News as saying.
New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the US and Russia signed on 8 April, 2010.
Esper also suggested that Moscow has cruise missiles with nuclear warheads aimed towards Europe, which are banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
"Right now," Esper said, "Russia has possible nuclear-tipped […] INF-range cruise missiles facing [Europe] -- that’s not a good thing.”
On 2 August, the United States formally withdrew from the INF Treaty.
Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the United States had included the development of missiles that violate the agreement into their budget almost a year before Washington left the INF Treaty.
The INF was a 1987 treaty with Soviet Union, which prohibited ground-launched nuclear, ballistic and cruise missiles which range from 500 to 5,000 kilometers.