The decision of US President Joe Biden to propose a five-year extension of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) serves defense interests of the US and gives time to negotiate new agreements, Chief Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Thursday.
"President Biden’s decision to seek a five-year extension of New START advances the nation's defense," he noted. "Russia's compliance with the treaty has served our national security interests well, and Americans are much safer with New START intact and extended, the Pentagon acknowledged.
"Failing to swiftly extend New START would weaken America’s understanding of Russia’s long-range nuclear forces," Kirby is certain, TASS reports.
"Extending the treaty’s limitations on stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons until 2026 allows time and space for our two nations to explore new verifiable arms control arrangements that could further reduce risks to Americans," he added.
At the same time, the spokesman pointed out that the Pentagon would still be focused on challenges to the US which are posed by Russia according to Washington. "Just as we engage Russia in ways that advance American interests, we in the Department will remain clear-eyed about the challenges Russia poses and committed to defending the nation against their reckless and adversarial actions," Kirby concluded.