Russian Parliament OKs New START Nuclear Treaty Extension
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers on Wednesday quickly approved the extension of the last remaining nuclear Russia-U.S. arms control, a fast-track action that comes just days before it’s due to expire.
Both houses of parliament voted unanimously to extend the New START treaty for five years, a day after a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said they agreed to complete the necessary extension procedures in the next few days.
The pact’s extension doesn’t require congressional approval in the U.S., but Russian lawmakers must ratify the move and Putin has to sign the relevant bill into law.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told lawmakers that the extension will be validated by exchanging diplomatic notes once all the procedures are completed.
Upper house Speaker Valentina Matvienko said after the vote that the decision to extend the pact shows that Russia and the U.S. can reach agreements on major issues despite the tensions between them.
New START expires on Feb. 5. After taking office last week, Biden proposed extending the treaty for five years, and the Kremlin quickly welcomed the offer.
The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.
Biden indicated during the campaign that he favored the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as U.S. vice president.
Russia has long proposed prolonging the pact without any conditions or changes, but the Trump administration waited until last year to start talks and made the extension contingent on a set of demands. The talks stalled, and months of bargaining have failed to narrow differences.
The negotiations were also marred by tensions between Russia and the United States, which have been fueled by the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other irritants.
After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019, New START is the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries.
Earlier this month, Russia announced that it would follow the U.S. in pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed surveillance flights over military facilities, to help build trust and transparency between Russia and the West.
Before the Biden administration took office, Russia always had offered to extend New START for five years — a possibility that was envisaged by the pact at the time it was signed. But President Donald Trump charged that it put the U.S. at a disadvantage. Trump initially insisted that China be added to the treaty, an idea that Beijing bluntly dismissed.
The Trump administration then proposed to extend New START for just one year and also sought to expand it to include limits on battlefield nuclear weapons.
In The News
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia has “shamelessly violated the... Read More
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine as he summoned nations around the globe to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.... Read More
WASHINGTON — Only days after the U.S. government announced a fresh round of tough sanctions against Russia, a Senate committee... Read More
WASHINGTON — Only days after the U.S. government announced a fresh round of tough sanctions against Russia, a Senate committee asked Tuesday whether it’s really enough. More revelations of torture and murder of Ukrainian civilians emerged in news reports this week. Each one was met with... Read More
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In an alarming assessment, the head of the United Nations warned world leaders Tuesday that nations... Read More
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In an alarming assessment, the head of the United Nations warned world leaders Tuesday that nations are "gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction" and aren't ready or willing to tackle the challenges that threaten humanity's future — and the planet's. "Our world is... Read More
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping is expected to meet with his... Read More
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a visit the neighboring Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan this month, in what would be his first overseas visits... Read More
BERLIN (AP) — The passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union and for many the man... Read More
BERLIN (AP) — The passing of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union and for many the man who restored democracy to then-communist-ruled European nations, was mourned Wednesday as the loss of a rare leader who changed the world and for a time gave... Read More
WASHINGTON — The United States and Japan are two countries known for protecting and promoting leading-edge technologies, but given lessons... Read More
WASHINGTON — The United States and Japan are two countries known for protecting and promoting leading-edge technologies, but given lessons learned over the past few years, “just having innovation is not sufficient,” according to Tatsuya Terazawa, chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics in... Read More