The extension of the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START) gives the United States time and space to broader discussion of strategic stability issues, said US State Department spokesman Ned Price.
“Even as we work with Russia to advance U.S. interests so too will we hold Russia to account for its reckless and its adversarial behavior,” Price said.
Price also said that the five-year extension gives the U.S. “time and space to talk about the broader strategic stability elements” that stems from the arms control agreement.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke on the matter:
“President Biden pledged to keep the American people safe from nuclear threats by restoring U.S. leadership on arms control and nonproliferation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “Today, the United States took the first step toward making good on that pledge when it extended the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation for five years.”
“The New START Treaty’s verification regime enables us to monitor Russian compliance with the treaty and provides us with greater insight into Russia’s nuclear posture, including through data exchanges and onsite inspections that allow U.S. inspectors to have eyes on Russian nuclear forces and facilities,” Blinken said.
The 5-year extension of New START makes the United States and the world safer. This welcome step is the start of our efforts to pursue effective arms control that lowers the risks of war and helps prevent arms races.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 3, 2021
In Ned Price’s opinion, there is no contradiction between the fact that Washington criticizes Moscow and at the same time agrees to extend the treaty.
“There is no dissonance here, and the common denominator that we adhere to in this case is our interests. It is obvious that it is in our interests to achieve a full, five-year extension of the START Treaty,” said the spokesman for the State Department.
“Especially when the relationship is confrontational, having something like START (…) that limits important components of Russia’s nuclear program becomes even more important,” he added.
The Kremlin press service reported on the evening of January 26 that Russia and the United States exchanged diplomatic notes on reaching an agreement on the extension of the START-3 Treaty, and Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden expressed their satisfaction in a telephone conversation.
On January 29, the Kremlin press service reported that Putin signed the law “On the Ratification of the Agreement on the Extension of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms of April 8, 2010”.
On February 3, Russia and the United States exchanged notes on the completion of internal procedures for a five-year extension of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, the corresponding agreement entered into force on the same day.
Similar to the INF treaty, which the US dismantled earlier, New START limits the nuclear arsenals of Washington and Moscow. The United States and Russia own the lion’s share of the world’s nukes.
What both State Department officials are saying is this: the New START is being extended in order to win time and contain Russia, while the US develops new nuclear strike weapons that are not prohibited under the deal.
This logic is not something quite new, but it sounds very strong in all speeches of the US political and military establishment.
Additionally, together with this, MSM is also propagating reports of the possibility of using nuclear weapons, and that it wouldn’t be such a massive deal, in a way.
Preparations for an open confrontation are likely on the way, and it is quite obvious that this is happening.
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