US President Joe Biden wants to extend the last major nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia by five years. This was confirmed by President Spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday, after the Washington Post, among others, had previously reported on it. Accordingly, Biden, like Moscow, wants to agree to an extension of five years.
The New Start Treaty on the limitation of nuclear weapons would have expired at the beginning of February – in a good two weeks. The agreement, which came into force on February 5, 2011, limits the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the United States to 800 delivery systems and 1,550 deployable nuclear warheads each. It was initially closed for a period of ten years.
The government of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump had not been able to agree on an extension with Moscow in tough months of negotiations. Immediately after Biden’s swearing-in on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed extending the contract for five years without preconditions.
If the treaty were to expire without renewal, there would be no agreement for the first time in decades that set limits to the stock of strategic nuclear weapons. Russia and the USA together own around 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.