US to propose abiding by New START treaty until 2026 — Reuters

The United States will offer its adherence to New START until 2026 if Russia does the same, Reuters reported on Friday, citing US officials.

The proposal will be made by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who will address the Arms Control Association on Friday, Reuters said. According to the US officials, Sullivan will discuss “the importance of maintaining” the treaty until it expires in 2026. Washington is ready to resume arms control talks with Moscow, including on replacing the New START treaty with a new pact, the officials told Reuters.

US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said earlier that the Biden administration believes that Moscow still honors the qualitative limits on strategic weapons set by its treaty with Washington.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was suspending its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) but is not withdrawing from it. The president stressed that before returning to the discussion of the extension of New START, the Russian side wants to understand how the treaty will take into account not only the United States’ arsenals but also stockpiles of other NATO nuclear powers, namely the United Kingdom and France. Putin signed a law suspending Russia’s participation in New START on March 1.

Washington and Moscow inked the New START treaty in 2010. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into force, each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on them, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. Russia and the US extended the treaty for a maximum period of five years in February 2021.

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