Biden ‘proposing five-year extension of nuclear weapons treaty with Russia’

The treaty is set to expire in February and is the last remaining agreement constraining US and Russian nuclear weapons
Biden ‘proposing five-year extension of nuclear weapons treaty with Russia’

President Joe Biden waits to sign his first executive order in the Oval Office on Wednesday. Picture: AP

The Biden administration has proposed to Russia a five-year extension of the New Start treaty limiting the number of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons, a US official said.

The proposal was being communicated to Russian officials, said the official.

The treaty is set to expire in February and is the last remaining agreement constraining US and Russian nuclear weapons.

The proposal was reported first by The Washington Post.

President Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan planned to convey the extension proposal to Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, on Thursday afternoon, an official said.

The treaty is set to expire on February 5 and is the last remaining agreement constraining US and Russian nuclear weapons. Signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, it limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads.

President Donald Trump had been highly critical of the deal, asserting that it put the United States at a disadvantage.

His administration waited until last year to engage Russia in substantive talks on the treaty’s future. Mr Trump insisted that China be added to the treaty, but Beijing rejected the idea out of hand.

President Biden, who indicated during the campaign that he favoured extending New Start, is not proposing any alterations, the US official said.

And it appears likely that Moscow would be amenable to an extension.

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