The last major nuclear arms control agreement that remains between the United States and Russia is the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a.k.a. New START (2010 signing ceremony pictured).
On February 5, 2021—less than a year away—this treaty is scheduled to expire, unless we act now.
The treaty establishes limits on weapons and warheads and also establishes verification systems that have provided the United States with valuable insights into Russian strategic nuclear forces that would be difficult or impossible to get without the treaty.
A 2018 State Department report noted that “without the data exchanges and access through on-site inspections to Russian facilities, the overall effect would be a decrease in our knowledge of Russian strategic nuclear forces.” Without this treaty, the two countries would enter into an unpredictable relationship not seen since the Cold War.
Congress must act to help save this treaty and maintain common ground between the United States and Russia.
Fortunately, Representative Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), have introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at saving New START: H.R. 2529, “the Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces.” PSR expects a vote on H.R. 2529 this month.
The legislation establishes the sense of Congress that the United States should seek to extend the New START Treaty from its initial termination, “unless the President determines and informs the appropriate congressional committees that
- Russia is in material breach of the Treaty; or
- The United States and Russia have entered into a new arms control agreement to replace the Treaty that provides equal or greater constraints, transparency, and verification measures with regard to Russia’s nuclear forces.”
Since the vote is expected soon, NOW is the time to tell your representative to support H.R. 2529.
Take action today and make your voice heard! Click here to send an email message, or if you’d prefer, pick up the phone and use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard to CALL your U.S. Representative: 202-224-3121.