Home / World / Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin Discuss Arms Control and Ukraine in First Call
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin discuss arms control and Ukraine in first call

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin Discuss Arms Control and Ukraine in First Call

MOSCOW – Russia and the United States have reached a deal to extend the New Start nuclear arms control treaty, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
This decision preserves the last major pact of its kind between the two largest nuclear powers in the world.
The US President, Joe Biden, and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, discussed the issue by phone and agreed that their teams urgently work to complete the extension by February 5, when the treaty expires, the white house said in a statement.
Signed in 2010, the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a cornerstone of global arms control.
It limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the United States and Russia to 1,550 each, as well as the number of land and submarine missiles and bombers that deliver them.
The Kremlin said the widely anticipated breakthrough in a statement saying both Mr. Putin and Mr. Biden spoke for the first time since Mr. Biden took office on January 20.
Moscow and Washington failed to agree on an extension under former US President Donald Trump, whose administration wanted to attach conditions to a renewal that Moscow rejected.
The Kremlin said Putin and Biden “welcomed” that diplomatic notes between the two nations had been exchanged confirming that the pact would be extended and that the procedures necessary for it to enter into force before its expiration would be completed in the coming days.
The White House, in its description of the call, did not say that a deal had been reached or that diplomatic notes had been exchanged, although its tone was optimistic.
“They discussed the willingness of the two countries to extend New START for five years, agreeing that their teams work urgently to complete the extension by February 5,” said the White House.
“They also agreed to explore strategic stability discussions on a range of arms control and emerging security issues.”
A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the plan included the exchange of notes on Tuesday.
When asked why Washington had not explicitly stated that a deal had been reached, a second US official, also on condition of anonymity, said certain measures were needed, including Duma approval, the lower house of the Russian parliament. The treaty itself does not require legislative approval for an extension.
The White House said last week that Biden would seek a five-year extension.
In its statement, the Kremlin said Putin told Biden that a normalization of relations between Moscow and Washington would be in the interests of both countries.
He said the two leaders also discussed the US decision under Trump’s administration to exit the Open Skies Treaty. Putin and Biden also spoke about Iran’s nuclear program and the conflict in Ukraine.
The White House stressed it would raise issues on which it disagreed with Russia, and said Biden had reaffirmed Washington’s “strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
Biden had raised “other matters of concern,” including the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the cyber-hack blamed on Russia that used US tech company SolarWinds Corp as a springboard to penetrate networks from the federal government, and reports that Russia has offered bonuses to the Taliban Militants linked to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“President Biden has made it clear that the United States will act firmly to defend its national interests in response to Russian actions that harm us or our allies,” the White House statement said.

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