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Vladimir Putin signs law extending nuclear arms treaty between US and Russia

Vladimir Putin signs law extending nuclear arms treaty between US and Russia (Updated: Saturday, 30th January 2021, 05:12 PM)


Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying the extension of New START, an important arms control treaty with the United States, a week before it was due to expire, the Kremlin said in a statement on Friday, January 29.

The treaty limits the number of strategic offensive weapons both countries can have.

The nuclear arms control agreement has been extended for five years until February 5, 2026, the Kremlin said.

It limits each country to no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers; no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and heavy bombers for nuclear armaments; and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers.

 The deal between Russia and the US is the last major deal between both countries after the Trump administration pulled out of a separate nuclear arms control agreement with Russia, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), in 2019, claiming China needed to be part of the agreement and also reduce it's Nuclear arsenal.

According to the Kremlin, Putin and US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone on Tuesday this week expressing "satisfaction" over the exchange of diplomatic notes between both countries on extending the treaty. 

On Wednesday, the Russian Parliament voted to ratify the five-year extension of the treaty.

The landmark treaty was first signed for a period of 10 years by former US President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. It took effect on February 5, 2011.

"Renewing the Treaty meets the national interests of the Russian Federation, makes it possible to maintain the transparency and predictability of strategic relations between Russia and the United States and to support global strategic stability; it will have a beneficial effect on the international situation, and contribute to the nuclear disarmament process," the Kremlin said in the statement published Friday evening.

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters "that the New START Treaty is in the national security interests of the United States, and this extension makes even more sense when the relationship with Russia is adversarial, as it is at this time."

Psaki added that it was the "only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and is an anchor of strategic stability between our two countries."

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