3 Feb 2021 17:56

New START extended for 5 yrs on Feb 3, Russia, U.S. exchange relevant notes - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) - Russia and the United State exchanged on Wednesday notes on the completion of internal procedures to extend the New START for five years, and a relevant agreement entered into effect on the same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"On February 3, 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow exchanged diplomatic notes regarding the completion of internal procedures required for the entry into force of the Agreement to extend the Treaty on measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of April 8, 2010 (New START)," the ministry said.

"Accordingly, this Agreement entered into force on the same day," it said.

"Thus the Treaty will remain in effect exactly as it had been signed, without any amendments or additions, until February 5, 2026," the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry emphasized that the telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden became key for this development to proceed.

The ministry expressed hope that "the understanding, reached with Washington regarding the future of the New START Treaty as a cornerstone of international security, would allow to leave behind the trend towards dismantling of arms control and nonproliferation mechanisms."

"Significant steps would be required to return our bilateral dialogue in this area back to a more stable trajectory, reach new substantial results which would strengthen our national security and global strategic stability," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that "Russia is ready to do its part" and urged the U.S. "to apply a similarly responsible approach and to respond to our initiatives in a constructive manner."

Through the New START's extension, "this core mechanism for maintaining strategic stability is preserved and its further functioning assured on a strictly reciprocal basis, limiting the two countries' nuclear arsenals," it said.

"Considering the special responsibilities that Russia and the U.S. carry as the world's largest nuclear nations, the decision taken is important as it guarantees a necessary level of predictability and transparency in this area, while strictly maintaining a balance of interests," it said.