“While the USA and Russia continued to reduce their overall nuclear weapon inventories by dismantling retired warheads in 2020, both are estimated to have had around 50 more nuclear warheads in operational deployment at the start of 2021 than a year earlier. Russia also increased its overall military nuclear stockpile by around 180 warheads, mainly due to the deployment of more multi-warhead land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs),” the statement reads.
It is noted that Russia and the USA together possess over 90 percent of global nuclear weapons. Both Russia and the USA appear to be increasing the importance they attribute to nuclear weapons in their national security strategies. All the other seven nuclear-armed states are also either developing or deploying new weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so, including Britain, China, India and Pakistan.
Both countries’ deployed strategic nuclear forces remained within the limits set by the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), although the treaty does not limit total nuclear warhead inventories.
The total number of nuclear weapons in the world, according to experts, decreased from 13,400 to 13,080.
It should be noted that the United States and Russia are obliged to keep stockpiles of nuclear weapons within the limits set by the Strategic Offensive Limitation Treaty signed in 2010 - START-3. This agreement provides for a reciprocal reduction in the arsenals of deployed strategic nuclear weapons and obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers. The United States and Russia extended the agreement for 5 years in February.
As it was reported, in March, it became known that the United States is currently the world's largest firearms exporter. Over these five years, the U.S. exported weapons to 96 countries and regions, which makes much more than other arms exporters. Almost half of the American exports ended up in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia being the major importer (24 percent).