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Russia, US agree to extend nuclear arms treaty for five years

Mariana Cortonova
Press TV, Moscow

Russia and the United States have decided to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty known as New START for five years without preconditions.

The agreement is considered the last remaining arms control treaty between the two countries. The administration of former US President Donald Trump engaged in the destruction of treaty regimes and tried to achieve unilateral advantages in the military-strategic sphere by forcing one-sided conditions that infringed on Russia's interests.

Throughout 2020, the United States and Russia clashed over the issue of extending the agreement. The Trump administration conditioned extending the agreement to China's membership, but Russia rejected any change to its terms.

The decision to extend the treaty comes at a time when only less than 10 days remains to the expiration of the accord on February 5.

The joint agreement is being discussed on both sides of the ocean with the hope that it will become an essential tool for maintaining strategic stability over the next five years.

Experts believe the new agreement is a victory for both Russia and the United States after a period of brinkmanship. 

The Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms was signed in 2010 in Prague and provides for a reduction in the number of nuclear warheads by both countries to 1550. The number of intercontinental missiles as well as shells on submarines and strategic bombers should not exceed 700.

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