The United States and Russia managed to quickly agree on extending the New START treaty on the reduction of strategic offensive weapons, and Washington will look into other possible ways of improving strategic stability, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with NPR.
In his words, although the two states had disagreements in the past, and the United States has concerns about "Russia's behavior and Russia's actions," Moscow and Washington can still cooperate in areas of mutual interest, TASS reports.
"We were able very quickly, because it's in our interest, to extend the new START agreement by five years, the arms control reduction agreement," Blinken said. "And we'll look at other ways to advance strategic stability with Russia, even as we're very clear about the actions that they're taking <…> that are a challenge to our interests and values."
"But we have to be able to work on both fronts," he added.
The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) was signed in 2010 and entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The New START Treaty was to remain in force for 10 years, until 2021, unless replaced before that date by a subsequent agreement on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. It had the possibility of extension for no longer than 5 years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.
Moscow and Washington exchanged diplomatic notes on an agreement to extend New START on January 26. On February 3 the Russian foreign ministry and the US embassy exchanged notes on the completion of domestic procedures to enforce the New START extension agreement.