The New START treaty on strategic arms reduction should include Russia’s most advanced weapons if Moscow and Washington agree to extend it, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview with Fox News.
"If there is going to be an extension of the New START, then we need to make sure that we include all these new weapons that Russia is pursuing," TASS quoted him as saying.
"Right now, Russia has possibly nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, INF-range (range stipulated by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Weapons Treaty) cruise missiles facing toward Europe," the US official added.
New START, which came into force in 2011, limits Russia and the US to no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers.
The Treaty is set to remain in effect for ten years (until 2021) unless a new document is signed to replace it. The document can also be extended for no more than five years (that is, until 2026) by mutual consent of the parties.