US, Russia reach deal to extend nuclear arms treaty
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 03 February 2021 3:14 PM
The United States and Russia have reached a new deal to extend for five years a key nuclear arms treaty between the the two superpowers.
The New START Treaty was set to expire within days but the Wednesday agreement would keep the key nuclear arms treaty in place.
"The New START Treaty's verification regime enables us to monitor Russian compliance with the treaty and provides us with greater insight into Russia's nuclear posture, including through data exchanges and onsite inspections that allow U.S. inspectors to have eyes on Russian nuclear forces and facilities," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off last Friday on legislation extending the accord.
The treaty allows for inspections by both sides to ensure compliance.
"President Biden pledged to keep the American people safe from nuclear threats by restoring US leadership on arms control and nonproliferation," Blinken claimed. "Today, the United States took the first step toward making good on that pledge when it extended the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation for five years."
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization welcomed them move, but still expressed concerns about "challenges" posed by Russia.
"Even as the United States engages Russia in ways that advance our collective interests, NATO remains clear-eyed about the challenges Russia poses. We will work in close consultation to address Russia's aggressive actions, which constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security," NATO claimed in a statement.
Blinken further suggested that Washington was also pursuing arms control with China, an idea rejected by Beijing when such a proposal was made under former President Donald Trump.
The New START remains the last bilateral agreement verifiably and transparently limiting the world's two largest nuclear arsenals.
Moscow had repeatedly called on Washington to speed up the decision to extend the treaty, but the Trump administration put forth irrelevant preconditions for its extension.
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