US Has Extended New START Nuclear Treaty With Russia For 5 Years: Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced early Wednesday the US has formally agreed to extend the New START treaty with Russia for another five years.
“Extending the New START Treaty ensures we have verifiable limits on Russian ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers until February 5, 2026,” Blinken said in a statement according to Reuters.
The landmark treaty, which marks the last major arms control agreement between the US and Russia, limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons maintained by the former Cold War rivals to no more than 1,550 each.
Blinken said in his statement:
Especially during times of tension, verifiable limits on Russia’s intercontinental-range nuclear weapons are vitally important. Extending the New START Treaty makes the United States, US allies and partners, and the world safer. An unconstrained competition would endanger us all.
The prior agreement was set to expire on Feb.5 and its fate was anything but certain, given that both the INF and Open Skies treaties faltered under the past US administration.
It was no secret that the Russians were waiting out Trump, anticipating that the former president’s declared desire to pull out New START would be a moot point should Biden take the White House.
Just in: Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces the official five-year extension of the New START treaty with Russia. Original deal inked during the Obama admin was set to expire on Friday. pic.twitter.com/vG2WlcRqr4
— Jack Detsch (@JackDetsch) February 3, 2021
During prior negotiations this past fall, Putin was willing to offer an extension on the landmark nuclear treaty of at least one year without any preconditions in order to save the deal, while at the same time Biden on the campaign was on record as clearly indicated he’d be ready to agree to an unconditional 5-year extension.
Though serious tensions remain, Biden and Putin appeared to find at least this one point of agreement during a Jan.22 phone call over a range of issues, mostly involving Biden raising the top of Russian ‘interference’ in US elections and hacking accusations.
Wed, 02/03/2021 – 15:39