The United States in turn validated Wednesday the five-year extension of the New Start nuclear weapons limitation treaty already signed by Russia, announced US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“At the same time as we work with Russia to advance American interests, we will also work to hold Russia to account for its antagonistic acts and human rights violations, in close coordination with our allies and partners,” he said. he warned in a press release.
As the new US President Joe Biden stages the signing of his first measures daily, the extension of the last key US-Russian arms control treaty, which expired in two days, was announced almost on the sly, by a simple press release from its secretary of state. It comes in the midst of renewed tensions between Westerners and Moscow, after the arrest and then the prison sentence of the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, strongly denounced by Washington and the Europeans.
“President Biden is committed to protecting Americans from nuclear threats by restoring US leadership in arms control and non-proliferation. Today, the United States is taking a first step in keeping this commitment with the extension of the New Start treaty with the Russian Federation for five years, ”said Antony Blinken.
Signed in 2010, the agreement limits the arsenals of Russia and the United States to a maximum of 1,550 warheads deployed for each of these two countries, a reduction of nearly 30% from the previous ceiling set in 2002.
It also restricts the number of launchers and heavy bombers to 800, which is still enough to destroy Earth multiple times.
Negotiations on the extension of the agreement were generally deadlocked during the entire presidency of Donald Trump.