- WH press secretary denies Trump stumped by reference to START
- START is a nuclear weapons treaty between Russia and the US
(CNN)White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied President Donald Trump didn't know what a key nuclear disarmament agreement with Russia's president was when the two men spoke by phone two weeks ago.
What is START?
- The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, was signed by the US and the USSR in 1991 and limited the number of nuclear arms each country stockpiles.
- The treaty went into effect in 1994.
- Under the agreement, each side could deploy up to 1,600 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and 6,000 warheads.
- In 2010 then-President Barack Obama renewed the deal, which became New START.
- The original 1991 agreement was renamed START I when the new treaty went into effect.
What is New START?
- New START went into effect on February 5, 2011.
- The agreement aimed to cut the number of nuclear weapons that the US and Russia could deploy by about one third.
- The limits set out in the treaty aim for a maximum of 700 deployed ICBMs, submarines and bombers, and a total of 1,500 warheads.
- Obama called it "the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades;" then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called it a "win-win situation" for both countries.
- It also allows annual stockpile inspections for both sides.
- And it includes a withdrawal clause, standard in these types of deals.
- The treaty doesn't limit testing, development or deployment of current or planned US missile defense programs.
- The current version of the treaty is scheduled to expire in 2021, but there's an option to extend it for five years.