13. Dezember 2020
The term of the contract is ten years from the effective date (feb. 2021), unless it is replaced by a subsequent agreement and cannot be extended for a further five years until 2026. As in START I, each party may withdraw if it decides itself that „extraordinary events related to the purpose of this treaty have jeopardized its highest interests.“ The contract would be terminated three months after a withdrawal period. Under New START, the United States has a strategic force of 400 DCI, 60 nuclear-weapon bombers and 240 SLBMs. By early 2020, the Navy had 10 functional strategic submarines of three different types, 10 of which were operational and 1 became obsolete. They are used with the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet. Meanwhile, while the extension of New START is being negotiated, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons on Saturday. While it is unlikely to have a direct impact on States with such weapons, it will mean that on 21 January 2021, nuclear weapons will be officially illegal in the eyes of the United Nations. There has been a glimmer of hope in recent days. Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed extending the duration of the nuclear deal, known as New START, by at least one year after its expiration date of February 5, 2021. Russia also agreed to accept the US proposal for a political commitment to „freeze“ the total number of nuclear warheads on each side for one year and to take advantage of the time saved to continue negotiations for a new agreement.
The Trump administration is trying to negotiate verification measures for the warhead freeze, which we have experienced will be a complex undertaking and will take a long time. The contract prohibits both parties from possessing, manufacturing or testing ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,000 km. The possession or manufacture of ground launchers of these missiles was also prohibited. The ban extended to nuclear and conventional warhead weapons, but did not extend to air or maritime missiles.  Existing weapons had to be destroyed and a mutual inspection protocol was agreed.  Any party has the right to terminate the contract with a six-month notice period „if it decides that exceptional events related to the purpose of this contract have jeopardized its best interests.“  Albert Einstein would have thought that God does not play dice with the universe.