Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made a new beginning, signing a bill on Friday, the latest nuclear weapons control treaty between Russia and the United States. The agreement will end on the 5th.
On Wednesday, both houses of parliament unanimously approved a five-year extension of the treaty. Putin and US President Joe Biden discussed the nuclear deal a day earlier. The extension of the treaty does not require approval from the United States Congress.
Russian diplomats said the extension would be validated by exchanging diplomatic notes once all procedures were completed in the country.
The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, provided that each country could carry 550 nuclear warheads and 700 missiles capable of carrying them. Local inspections are allowed to verify compliance with the agreement.
Biden indicated during the US presidential campaign that he was in favor of patronizing new beginnings, when he was vice president. Russia had previously called for an extension of the agreement without any condition or change, but former President Donald Trump’s government waited until last year to begin negotiations and make the expansion dependent on a set of requirements.
Negotiations stalled after months of negotiations that failed to narrow differences. In 2019, after Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Novo Start became the only remaining nuclear weapons control agreement between the two countries.
Earlier this month, Russia announced that it would follow the United States in withdrawing the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed surveillance flights at military facilities to help build a relationship of trust between Russia and the West.
Defenders of arms control acknowledged the expansion of NovoStart as a victory for global security and now Russia and the United States want to start negotiating follow-up agreements.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the country’s chief negotiator in the treaty, said earlier this week that Russia was ready to talk about possible cuts to its arsenal.