The Russian Parliament approved the renewal of the Treaty on the Limitation of Nuclear Weapons with the United States. The so-called New START Treaty on Limiting Great Powers’ Nuclear Arsenals was in danger of expiring due to disagreements between the Kremlin and the Trump administration.
New President Joe Biden spoke with his Russian counterpart by phone on Tuesday and both want to arrange an extension of the treaty for at least five years. In Moscow, the extension appears to be accelerating, because the State Duma immediately approved this on Wednesday and soon afterwards it was announced that the Russian Senate, the Federation Council, had also approved.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (START) dates back to the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was still in existence. The agreement has been renewed or extended three times, but parliaments have not always ratified it as planned. The last release is from 2010 and ends on February 5. Like its predecessors, the New START treaty limits the number of strategic warheads, missiles, and bombers that Russia and the United States can possess. The two countries are known to possess about 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
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