Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller of Arms Control and Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance today stressed that New START Treaty is a bright spot in the U.S-Russian relationship.
At the U.S. Strategic Command 2011 Deterrence Symposium in Nebraska said the New START Treaty entered into force on February 5th of this year.
“The New START Treaty implementation is so far going well. It’s been a bright spot in the U.S.-Russian relationship, and we see it continuing to be an area for positive cooperation.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She stresssed that the process of Treaty implementation has been very pragmatic, business-like, and positive – a continuation of the working relationship that both countries established during the negotiations in Geneva.
“We are constantly in communication with our Russian colleagues and the implementation process has been precise and efficient.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She highlighted that negotiators worked hard to find innovative new mechanisms to aid in the verification of the Treaty. She added that the results of that work are already evident. She stated that the regime is simpler and safer to implement and, at the same time, it lessens disruptions to the day-to-day operations of both sides’ strategic forces.
“On-site inspections have begun and as of today, the United States and Russia together have conducted eight inspections. We are keeping par with each other.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She reported that the United States is receiving data about actual re-entry vehicle (warhead) loadings on Russia’s missiles; on-site inspection procedures under New START allow the United States to confirm the actual number of warheads on any randomly selected Russian ICBM and SLBM.
“Last March, the United States conducted exhibitions of its B-1B and B-2A heavy bombers and the Russian Federation conducted an exhibition of its RS-24 ICBM and associated mobile launcher. That was the first time we had a chance to see the RS-24, the new Russian mobile missile with multiple warheads.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She pointed out that just two weeks ago, both countries have passed the 1,000th notification under the New START Treaty. She emphasized that the notifications help to track movement and changes in the status of systems.
She noted that every six months both countries exchange a comprehensive database. The exchnage give both countries a full accounting of exactly where weapons systems are located, whether they are out of their deployment or operational bases and gone to maintenance, or have been retired.
“This semi-annual exchange, along with the continuous updates and mandatory treaty notifications provide, create a “living document,” a comprehensive look into each other’s strategic nuclear forces.” -Ms. Gottemoeller
She underscored that the United States has made it clear that it is committed to continuing a step-by-step process to reduce the overall number of nuclear weapons, including the pursuit of a future agreement with Russia for broad reductions in all categories of nuclear weapons – strategic, non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed.