News   /   Russia

Russian president signs law extending New START nuclear treaty with US

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the last standing nuclear arms control agreement between Russia and the US, which the ex-American administration failed to extend.

In a statement issued Friday, the Kremlin announced that Putin had signed “the federal law on the ratification of the extension of the agreement between Russia and the US” for five years, referring to New START.

“The current federal law enters force on the day of its official publication,” said the statement, adding that the extension “allows to preserve the transparency and predictability of strategic relations between Russia and the United States, [and] to support global strategic stability.”

The upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament had on Wednesday unanimously approved the bill on the extension, which was submitted by Putin following his first phone call with new US President Joe Biden a day earlier.

Speaking via video link to the World Economic Forum’s virtual meeting on Wednesday, the Russian leader hailed Biden’s decision to extend the treaty as “a step in the right direction.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told lawmakers that the extension will be validated by exchanging diplomatic notes once all the procedures are completed.

New START was inked between Washington and Moscow under then US and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. 

The treaty allows the two states to have no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. It also envisages a strict compliance verification process.

Russia had long called for extending the treaty — which was due to expire on February 5 — the way it is, but the administration of ex-US president Donald Trump only entered talks on the matter last year and conditioned the extension on a list of demands.

The negotiations then hit a stalemate as the two sides failed to hammer out their differences.

New START is the last remaining nonproliferation deal between Russia and the US, after the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), another key arms control treaty, expired in August 2019.

Earlier this month, Russia announced that it was leaving the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows reconnaissance flights over the participants’ entire territory, months after the US under Trump unilaterally quit the key trust-building pact.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku