Putin Hails Extension Of Key Nuclear Treaty “A Step In Right Direction” With US
With just days to go before its expiration next month, the United States and Russia struck a deal to extend the landmark New START treaty, which is the last nuclear arms control agreement between to the two former Cold War rivals.
Shortly after their first phone call on Tuesday between Presidents Biden and Putin in which the two discussed a range of sensitive topics which have plagued relations the AFP reported that Putin formally submitted a bill for Russian parliament to extend New START by five years.
“The presidents expressed satisfaction following today’s exchange of diplomatic notes on an agreement to extend the New START Treaty,” Putin’s office announced following the call. Russian parliament has since formally approved its five year extension.
The Kremlin noted that the “sides will finalize, within days, procedures needed to ensure further functioning of this major international mechanism of reciprocal limitation of nuclear missile arsenals,” according to TASS.
Russian parliament quickly approved the extension on Wednesday:
Both houses of parliament voted unanimously to extend the New START treaty for five years, a day after a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said they agreed to complete the necessary extension procedures in the next few days.
While the White House did not immediately confirm, last week it was announced that Biden is willing to see a five year extension with no preconditions. “The State Duma voted unanimously to extend the New START treaty for five years,” AP noted separately.
According to Reuters on Tuesday, “Asked why Washington had not explicitly said an agreement had been reached, a second U.S. official, also on condition of anonymity, said some steps were needed, including approval by the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.” On the US side the treaty doesn’t require legislative approval for extension.
“International institutions are weakening, regional conflicts are multiplying, the global security system is degrading,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Davos Agenda, a virtual event organized by the World Economic Forum.#WEF21 #DavosAgenda t.co/Lr4vJ8hkww pic.twitter.com/nFExZuV5wF
— CNBC International (@CNBCi) January 27, 2021
The White House readout said of the Biden-Putin phone call that “They discussed both countries’ willingness to extend New START for five years, agreeing to have their teams work urgently to complete the extension by February 5th.”
During his address to the World Economic Forum’s on Wednesday, Putin announced that the 5-year New START extension is “a step in the right direction,” but also urged more to be done.
“The situation can still develop unpredictably and uncontrollably if we sit on our hands,” he warned in his virtual address to the Davos summit.