WASHINGTON– The Biden administration has actually extended a vital nuclear weapons treaty with Russia for 5 more years, America’s leading diplomat announced Wednesday.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, was set to end this week. The agreement is the sole arms control treaty in place in between Washington and Moscow following former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty.
” President Biden promised to keep the American people safe from nuclear hazards by restoring U.S. leadership on arms control and nonproliferation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. “Today, the United States took the first step toward making great on that promise when it extended the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation for five years.”
Similar to the INF treaty, New START restricts the nuclear toolboxes of Washington and Moscow. The United States and Russia own the lion’s share of the world’s nukes.
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“The New START Treaty’s confirmation regime allows us to keep an eye on Russian compliance with the treaty and provides us with greater insight into Russia’s nuclear posture, including through information exchanges and onsite assessments that permit U.S. inspectors to have eyes on Russian nuclear forces and facilities,” Blinken said.
The secretary of State added that the U.S. had evaluated that Russia remained in compliance with its New START Treaty obligations given that the inception of the contract in 2011.
“The United States will utilize the time offered by a five-year extension of the New START Treaty to pursue with the Russian Federation, in assessment with Congress and U.S. allies and partners, arms control that addresses all of its nuclear weapons,” Blinken said in a declaration.
Blinken also included that the Biden administration will work to pursue arms control “to lower the risks from China’s contemporary and growing nuclear arsenal.”