Russia has cautioned President Joe Biden and the United States, stating that the threat of a nuclear war is rising continuously as the tensions between the two nations, particularly over Ukraine, keep escalating. This announcement follows reports that the United States has decided to discontinue exchanging specific information about its nuclear forces with Russia because Moscow refused to do so after suspending its involvement in the New START treaty.
According to Vladimir Yermakov, the director of the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control at Russia’s Foreign Ministry, if the United States continues on its current path of hostility towards Russia, the future of the START treaty may already be determined. Yermakov also expressed concern over the increasing risk of a nuclear escalation that could result from a direct military conflict between nuclear powers. He regrets that these risks are steadily increasing.
The START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a treaty aimed at reducing nuclear arms between the United States and Russia. It was signed in April 2010 and became effective in February 2011. It replaced the previous START I treaty that had expired. The treaty puts a cap on the number of deployed nuclear warheads each country can possess at 1,550 and also limits the number of deployed delivery systems to 700.
Yermakov has stated that the potential involvement of the West in the global expansion of the US anti-missile system is jeopardizing the strategic stability between Moscow and Beijing. This system was initially created to provide protection against missile attacks from North Korea, but Russia has raised concerns that it could be used to target its nuclear capabilities.
In contrast, the relationship between Russia and China has become increasingly close, and they are considered to have a “strategic partnership.” Both nations have a similar worldview that challenges the US-led global order and aims to counterbalance American influence. They have increased their cooperation in various fields, such as energy, defense, and technology.
In recent years, the two countries have deepened their military cooperation through joint exercises and weapons sales. They have also expanded their economic collaboration, with Russia supplying China with oil, gas, and other natural resources, while China has invested heavily in Russian infrastructure and technology.
Russia’s recent warnings have highlighted the escalating tension between the United States and Russia since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Both countries have entered a new phase of an arms race, with each side developing new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
The US and its allies have accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed between the US and the Soviet Union in 1987 to eliminate nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic missiles.
As tensions continue to rise, experts are concerned about the possibility of a new arms race and even a nuclear conflict. The US and Russia possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, and any conflict between the two nations could have devastating consequences for the entire world.