Presidents of the United States and Russia announced today that they will meet in Prague on April 8, 2010 to sign the new disarmament agreement, which has become known as the New START treaty. The key provisions of the treaty that have been disclosed so far are as follows:
- 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.
- A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
- A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
The treaty's duration will be ten years, with an option of extending it once for five years. The Moscow Treaty of 2002 will terminate once the New START enters into force.
The treaty will not in any way limit missile defense developments. However, it is expected that Russia will make a unilateral statement asserting its right to withdraw from the treaty in case it decides that the U.S. missile defense program poses a threat to its national interests.