Arms control experts sent a letter to the headquarters of US presidential candidate Joe Biden calling for an extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START III) for five years. The text of the letter was published on November 25 on the website of the Arms Control Association.
“It is obvious that one of the main priorities of the new administration should be to reach an agreement with Russia to extend START-3 for five years without any conditions until February 5, 2021,” the document says.
Experts called on the future Biden administration, on the eve of the inauguration, to publicly express interest in extending the agreement and to appoint a representative who will begin negotiations with Russia on the very first day after the new president takes office.
The appeal was signed by 27 experts from various organizations, including the Arms Control Association, Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security and Nuclear Weapons Working Group Chairman.
Earlier, on November 13, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that Moscow and Washington are close to extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) for a year.
On November 12, Nebenzya said that US presidential candidate Joe Biden understands the need to extend the START Treaty, but this does not mean that if he wins the elections, Moscow and Washington will not have disagreements on the issue of disarmament.
On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed the hope that the new US administration will understand its responsibility for preventing the collapse of arms control regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections in the country.
US First Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan on November 9 announced the country’s readiness to extend the START Treaty on the terms announced earlier. He noted that Washington and Moscow have reached a “plateau” in the negotiations on the treaty.
In October, the United States refused to renew the document in the form in which it was signed.
In the summer, the United States put forward a number of demands, including China’s participation in the new agreement. Beijing, on the other hand, indicated that there was no reason to participate in the negotiations, since its nuclear arsenal is much smaller than that of the United States.
The contract will expire in 2021. The document was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010.
General elections were held in the United States on November 3. According to media reports, Biden is ahead of Trump in terms of the number of popular votes and the number of electoral votes. The democrat himself has already announced his victory in the elections. Trump has refused to admit defeat and has pledged to file many “big lawsuits” over voting irregularities. A Michigan court dismissed the Republican lawsuit, with five lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Trump and his supporters were unable to challenge the election results in courts about 30 times. After some time, the Republican recommended the head of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, to begin the process of transferring power in the country to Joe Biden.