as the central constituency of the Soviet Union, was a strategic adversary of
the United States until the end of the Cold War. Since then, more cooperative
patterns of behavior have been established and the independent Russia has accepted
American influence in its former spheres of influence – to some degree.
has the largest arsenal of both strategic and theatre nuclear weapons. High
maintenance costs and a relatively poor economy, after the breakup of the
Soviet Union, have raised international concerns about proliferation of these
weapons or technological knowhow since a large number of nuclear scientists
have gone unemployed since 1989.
the 2008 Bucharest Summit, Russia was urged by United States/NATO to accept the
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) cooperation proposals for an allied missile
relations with the U.S. and NATO have taken steps backwards after the September
missile defense agreements with Romania, Poland and
Turkey. Russia has announced its disapproval over the system elements that were
established without Russia being a part of the discussions. Russia was
concerned about what can be aptly described as a “defensive” arms race. Russia,
in 2011, asked for a “legal guarantee” that any future defense systems would
not be aimed at strategic Russian forces. Given the current scope of missile
defense capabilities and technology, a gross imbalance that would harm either
country seems unlikely, largely because of economic reasons in Russia and the
United States. All three parties hope to come closer to a more concise missile
defense agreement at the NATO Chicago Summit 2012.
New START Treaty signed between the US and Russia on February 5, 2011 reduced
the number of nuclear and ballistic weaponry each country is allotted to have
by 30% from the previous START treaty. The specific numbers are as follows:
1,550 deployed warheads, 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers and heavy
bombers and 700 deployed ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. These limits
must be met seven years after the signing of the treaty.
NATO Lisbon Summit 2010 was the first time NATO and Russia had productive talks
since ties were stifled during the 2008 Russian intervention in Georgia. One
aspect of the November 2010 summit was talks of an expanded NATO missile
defense system that would protect all of its members. Russian President
Medvedev indicated Russia was willing to cooperate with NATO on such a system.
April of 2012, the NATO Russia Commission (NRC) made bounds towards the major
goal of interoperability of missile defense systems with the success of testing
using computer hardware and software systems from NATO and Russia. This,
hopefully, will provide a foundation for trust between Russia and the NATO
countries, as a cooperative system will likely discourage doubt, usually
stemming from the Russian government.
has at least 5200 operational warheads and additional 8000 in reserve of which
some are prepared for dismantling. It has around 430 ICBMs with 1600 nuclear
warheads. Russians has also made significant progress in MIRV technologies and
is expected to MIRV some of their missiles. It has 48 silo-based missiles
Topol-M) and continues to deploy mobile
systems. The country also continues to modernize its SLBM submarines and
strategic bombers. Russia has relatively significant missile defense
capability. One functional missile defense system is deployed around its
capitol Moscow. This system is equipped with 100 interceptors (SH-11
Gazelle). Russia has developed radar capability,
although it leases some of its radars to other countries.
missiles are capable to intercept more targets at low and high altitudes.
Russia has 1900 of these missiles. S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) system is
counted to the missile defense and air defense capabilities are currently
counting for a totally of over 2064 missiles.