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Biden to seek five-year extension of New START treaty

US President Joe Biden plans to seek a five-year extension to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) beyond its 5 February expiration date, his spokesperson has announced. Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed during a White House press briefing on 21 January, that the United States intends to seek a five-year extension of New START, as the treaty permits. The President has long been clear that the New START Treaty is in the national security interests of the United States and this extension makes even more sense when the relationship with Russia is adversarial, as it is at this time. New START is the only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and is an anchor of strategic stability between our two countries.

Also on 21 January, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement on the Department of Defense website, President Biden’s decision to seek a five-year extension of New START advances the nation's defence. Russia's compliance with the treaty has served our national security interests well, and Americans are much safer with New START intact and extended. We cannot afford to lose New START’s intrusive inspection and notification tools. Failing to swiftly extend New START would weaken America’s understanding of Russia’s long-range nuclear forces.

Extending the treaty’s limitations on stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons until 2026 allows time and space for our two nations to explore new verifiable arms control arrangements that could further reduce risks to Americans...Just as we engage Russia in ways that advance American interests, we in the Department [of Defense] will remain clear-eyed about the challenges Russia poses and committed to defending the nation against their reckless and adversarial actions.

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