The Kremlin has reiterated its commitment to extending the New START nuclear arms-control treaty with the United States, saying it would welcome efforts promised by the administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to reach an agreement on the last remaining major nuclear arms pact between the two countries.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord, which was signed in 2010 and expires next month, limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles, and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy. It replaced the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) that went into effect in 1994.
"Russia and its president are in favor of preserving this agreement," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on January 20. "If our American colleagues will in fact demonstrate a political will to preserve this pact by extending it, this can only be welcomed."
Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on January 19 during a Senate confirmation hearing that Washington would seek to prolong the agreement and decide how long an extension to pursue.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last year called on Washington to extend the deal for one year without any conditions.
Analysts have said a failure to extend New START could trigger a new arms race and raise tensions between Moscow and Washington.