President Biden proposes to Russia, a five-year extension of the New START treaty that limits the number of U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan is planning to convey this extension proposal to Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, on Thursday afternoon.
The move shows Biden's intention to control arms usage and is expected to be welcomed both by Russia and key American allies. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on the United States and Russia to propose the extension.
Stoltenberg talked to the reporters in Brussels and said, "We should not end up in a situation with no limitation on nuclear warheads, and New START will expire within days."
He highlighted, "an extension of the New START is not the end, it’s the beginning of our efforts to further strengthen arms control."
The treaty is expected to expire on Feb. 5 and is the last pending agreement constraining U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. The agreement was signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, it restricts each country to not deploy 1,550 nuclear warheads.
Obama won Senate ratification of the treaty with a commitment to move ahead with a vast and enormously expensive recapitalization of the U.S. nuclear force. That program, which some Democrats in Congress call excessive, is likely to be further scrutinized by the Biden administration. At a projected cost exceeding $1 trillion over the next several decades, the plan is to replace each of the three "legs" of the U.S. nuclear triad — ballistic missile submarines, nuclear-capable bomber aircraft and land-based nuclear missiles.