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US Extends Nuclear Treaty With Russia For Five Years

US Extends Nuclear Treaty With Russia For Five Years”

The treaty had been set to lapse on 5 February, as the Trump administration had refused to approve the extension.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the diplomatic notes needed to formally extend New START had been exchanged on Wednesday. "There are obviously key components of that relationship, there are economic, there are strategic", she said when asked about the differences in the approaches of dealing with China and Russian Federation.

The extension by Washington comes five days after the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a bill prolonging the pact with the United States.

The United States and Russian Federation said on Wednesday they had extended the New START arms control treaty for five years, preserving the last treaty limiting deployments of the world's two largest strategic nuclear arsenals. It also limits the number of ballistic missiles and other launchers to 800. "Extending the New START Treaty makes the United States, U.S. allies and partners, and the world safer", Blinken said. "An unconstrained nuclear competition would endanger us all", Blinken said in a statement.

The top USA diplomat noted that "just as we engage the Russian Federation in ways that advance American interests, like seeking a five-year extension of New START and broader discussions to reduce the likelihood of crisis and conflict, we remain clear eyed about the challenges that Russia poses to the United States and the world".

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Derek Johnson, chief executive officer of Global Zero, an worldwide movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, said in a statement last month that "the treaty is an essential guardrail against nuclear arms-racing that imposes equal limits on US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons".

The Biden administration will also work on control measures for China's smaller but growing arsenal of nuclear warheads, Blinken said.

Blinken called the extension a "welcome step" and "the start of our efforts to pursue effective arms control that lowers the risks of war and helps prevent arms races".

The Trump administration was working to extend the treaty and attempted to bring China, which is not constrained by any nuclear treaty, into the fold. In a statement, NATO also said it "will work in close consultation to address Russia's aggressive actions, which constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security".



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