Today, 5 February was the due date for the expiry of the bilateral New START Treaty between Russia and the United States signed in 2010. After much lingering and delay by the Trump Administration, the Biden administration came in time barely before the deadline and put its hand in the hand of Russia, who has been calling for a long time for this extension.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on the day of the official conclusion of the agreement to extend the last standing Cold-War treaty between the two superpowers. Below is the full text of Russia's MFA.
On February 3, 2021 the MFA of Russia and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow exchanged diplomatic notes regarding the completion of internal procedures required for the entry into force of the Agreement to extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of April 8, 2010 (New START). Accordingly, this Agreement entered into force on the same day. Thus the Treaty will remain in effect exactly as it had been signed, without any amendments or additions, until February 5, 2026. The telephone conversation between the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the U.S. President Joseph Biden on January 26, 2021 became key for this development to proceed.
In effect, this core mechanism for maintaining strategic stability is preserved and its further functioning assured on a strictly reciprocal basis, limiting the two countries’ nuclear arsenals. Considering the special responsibilities that Russia and the U.S. carry as the world’s largest nuclear nations, the decision taken is important as it guarantees a necessary level of predictability and transparency in this area, while strictly maintaining a balance of interests.
We expect that the understanding, reached with Washington regarding the future of the New START Treaty as a cornerstone of international security, would allow to leave behind the trend towards dismantling of arms control and nonproliferation mechanisms, so prevalent in recent years due to U.S. destructive policies. Significant steps would be required to return our bilateral dialogue in this area back to a more stable trajectory, reach new substantial results which would strengthen our national security and global strategic stability.
Russia is ready to do its part. We urge the U.S. to apply a similarly responsible approach and to respond to our initiatives in a constructive manner.