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Russia extends key New START nuclear treaty

Russia extends key New START nuclear treaty, DW, 29 Jan 21, With only days to spare, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on the law that would keep the Obama-era nuclear treaty in place. The move follows a phone call with US President Joe Biden.

Moscow agreed to extend the only remaining nuclear arms treaty with the United States for another five years, with Russian President Vladimir Putin signing the move into law on Friday. The decision was previously approved by Russian lawmakers.

The New START treaty limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads for both the US and Russia. Both sides can only have up to 1,550 ready for use on intercontinental missiles and heavy bomber bases. It also imposes various other restrictions on the two countries’ respective arsenals. According to US data cited by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists last year, the US had 1,373 deployed warheads to Russia’s 1,326. The deal was set to expire next week.

Putin talked to US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, with the two leaders agreeing to keep the New START in place. The US does not require congressional approval to extend the deal. …………

No more ‘Open Skies’ for US and Russia

Last November, the Trump administration said it was pulling the US out of the “Open Skies” treaty. The accord, which involves 34 states, is a trust-building measure that allows countries to fly unarmed aircraft over military facilities of other signatories for surveillance purposes. Earlier this month, Moscow said they would also abandon the deal.

With Biden taking the reigns in the White House last week, the climate seems to be shifting. Both sides have recently signaled they are willing to work on arms control, including non-nuclear threats.

January 30, 2021 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war

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