Biden Put Out the Offer. Putin Just Responded

Russia says it welcomes US president's proposal to extend nuclear arms control treaty
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2021 6:05 AM CST
Biden Put Out the Offer. Putin Just Responded
In this file photo taken from video on Dec. 9, 2020, a rocket launches from a missile system as part of drills at the Plesetsk facility in Russia.   (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

(Newser) – The Kremlin on Friday welcomed President Biden's proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries, which is set to expire in less than two weeks. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that Russia stands for extending the pact and is waiting to see the details of the US proposal, per the AP. The White House said Thursday that Biden has proposed to Russia a five-year extension of the New START treaty. "We can only welcome political will to extend the document," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. "But all will depend on the details of the proposal." The treaty, signed in 2010 by Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads. It expires on Feb. 5.

Russia has long proposed to prolong the pact without any conditions or changes, but Donald Trump's administration waited until last year to start talks and made the extension contingent on a set of demands. The talks stalled, and months of bargaining have failed to narrow differences. Biden indicated during the campaign that he favored the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as vice president. Despite the extension proposal, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden remains committed to holding Russia "to account for its reckless and adversarial actions," such as its alleged involvement in the SolarWinds hacking event, 2020 election interference, the chemical poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, and the widely reported allegations that Russia may have offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.

(Read more Russia stories.)

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