Washington/Moscow: – The United States has declared that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), limiting the number of nuclear weapons and missiles, with Russia, has been extended by five years. The Russian foreign ministry published the information regarding the US announcement. Russia said that the United States took the decision, with only a few hours remaining, to expire the treaty. NATO has welcomed this agreement between the United States and Russia.
Last week, the US and Russian Presidents held discussions regarding the New START. Both the Presidents agreed in principle, to extend the treaty for the next five years, till 2026. The term of the existing treaty ends on Friday, 5th February. Therefore, Russia and the United States took expeditious steps to save the treaty. The Russian foreign ministry said that the agreement was signed urgently without making changes to the treaty’s existing provisions.
As per the treaty, both Russia and the United States are not permitted to possess more than 1,500 nuclear weapons and more than 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles. At the same time, both countries are free to inspect each other’s nuclear projects and bases. The European Union claimed that this agreement has been made keeping in view the security of Europe. NATO also claimed that the treaty’s renewal would assist in establishing peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, the media claim that China will be happy with this agreement, between the United States and Russia. Former US President Donald Trump had taken an insistent stand that China should be a part of the agreement. Trump had said that the treaty could not be complete without including China. But China had summarily dismissed the US demand. It is being accused that China has rapidly increased the number of missiles and nuclear weapons production under this agreement’s guise.