U.S. extends nuclear arms control treaty with Russia for five years
Publish- February 04, 2021, 06:06 PM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
The United States on Wednesday extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia for five years, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"Extending the New START Treaty ensures we have verifiable limits on Russian ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers until February 5, 2026," said Blinken, adding that the extension "makes the United States, U.S. allies and partners, and the world safer."
"Especially during times of tension, verifiable limits on Russia's intercontinental-range nuclear weapons are vitally important," he said.
Blinken noted that Washington would use the five-year extension period to seek arms control with Moscow that addresses all of the Russian nuclear weapons.
The New START, which limits the numbers of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550 and delivery systems to 700 for each, is the last remaining nuclear arms control pact in force between the two nuclear superpowers.
The treaty can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries.
The extension of the New START might be a bright spot for the U.S.-Russia relations, but the overall tensions between Washington and Moscow are unlikely to decrease given their differences on issues of human rights, Ukraine, cybersecurity as well as their mutual accusation of interference in the domestic politics.