New US President Joe Biden wants to extend the “New Start” nuclear weapons treaty between the US and Russia for five years. The Kremlin is waiting for a detailed proposal but is positive about the proposal.
Biden’s spokesman said the government needed to speed up the decision as the 2010 Strategic Nuclear Weapons Reduction Treaty (New Start) expires on Feb. The treaty for the Russian and American nuclear arsenal’s disarmament is the last of its kind between the two countries.
“Russia is in favour of retaining and extending New Start,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “That way we buy more time for conversations and contacts. We, therefore, welcome the political will to renew the treaty “. He did add that “everything will depend on the details.”
Even before his inauguration, Biden had said that the treaty is a “cornerstone of strategic stability” between the US and Russia. The treaty could also form a basis for new agreements on arms control.
New Start became effective on February 5, 2011. The treaty limits the nuclear arsenal of both Russia and the US, which control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Specifically, the treaty stipulates that each country may accommodate 800 carrier systems and 1,550 operational warheads.
The agreement was valid for ten years. Therefore, the treaty will expire on February 5 2021, meaning that there would be no agreement for the first time in decades and an arms race would threaten.
Despite months of negotiations with Moscow, Donald Trump’s administration was unable to agree on an extension. The previous US government wanted China to participate in such a nuclear weapons treaty, but Beijing was not favouring that.