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Putin signs five-year extension of New START treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed federal legislation extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) five years beyond its 5 February expiration date, the Kremlin announced on its website on 29 January.

The legislation, passed by the State Duma, Russia's parliament on 27 January, ratified the extension of the treaty through an exchange of diplomatic notes between Russia and the United States on 26 January.

Russia's State Legal Department said on the Kremlin website on 29 January that extension of the treaty was in the nation's national interests, allowing the transparency and predictability of strategic relations between Russia and the US and global stability to be maintained, as well as positively affecting the international situation and contributing to the development of the nuclear disarmament process.

The Duma legislation said that extending New START would also “help to make [the nuclear disarmament process] multilateral in the future. Viacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, said that the extension “is important for the world [which] was on the verge of an arms race. Our president has done his best to ensure that this treaty … would be extended.”

The federal legislation extending New START was unanimously supported by members of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee that met earlier on 27 January. Opening the meeting, committee chairman Leonid Slutskiy declared, “Ratification of the New START treaty in the State Duma will be a historic day for strategic nuclear deterrence.”

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