Russia welcomes US proposal to extend nuclear treaty

Russia welcomes US proposal to extend nuclear treaty

Thus it appeared likely that Moscow would be amenable to an extension.

The White House said on Thursday that Biden would seek a five-year extension of the arms control treaty that is due to expire in early February, in one of the first major foreign policy decisions of the new administration.

The talks on the treaty's extension also were clouded by tensions between Russian Federation and the United States, which have been fuelled by the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and other irritants.

While the White House's specific terms are not yet clear, The Post reported that unlike his predecessor, Biden "is not interested in holding an extension of New START hostage to China".

The accord restricts Washington and Moscow to a maximum of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads each, a cut of about 30 percent from a limit set in 2002, and 800 launchers and bombers - enough to blow up the world many times over.

He said the Biden administration can still find other ways to pressure Russian Federation over its concerns on so-called tactical nuclear weapons - which Moscow could deploy in hot conflicts close to home, as opposed to strategic weapons that mostly target the US.

On arms control issues, the previous administration of President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a 1987 pact with Russian Federation, citing violations by Moscow.

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

Two senior USA officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic, told the newspaper that "Biden is ruling out a "reset" in bilateral relations with Moscow as many new US presidents have done since the end of the Cold War". At a projected cost exceeding $1 trillion over the next several decades, the plan is to replace each of the three "legs" of the US nuclear triad - ballistic-missile submarines, nuclear-capable bomber aircraft and land-based nuclear missiles.

Biden's approach is nearly the mirror opposite from that of Trump, who voiced fondness for Putin.

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Earlier, a source familiar with the decision told Reuters that usa lawmakers have been briefed on Biden's decision on the New START treaty.

Biden is not following her advice.

Kremlin welcomed Joe Biden's plans on extension of the critical nuclear deal for five years.

Lloyd Austin, Biden's nominee for secretary of defence, similarly said that extending New START would be in America's national security interests.

Psaki said that "this extension makes even more sense when the relationship with Russian Federation is adversarial as it is at this time". New START is the only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and is an anchor of strategic stability between the two countries, she said.

She said the United States would also investigate bounties reportedly paid by Russian intelligence to extremists in Afghanistan who killed USA troops.

These initial points of contention are part of what the Biden team calls a larger "cost imposition strategy" that will involve further sanctions and cyber capabilities, among other tools.

As Ms. Psaki indicated, coloring the negotiations is any Biden administration response to the massive SolarWinds hack of federal agencies and major USA companies.

Mark Episkopos is the national security reporter for the National Interest.

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