WASHINGTON, January 12./TASS/. Moscow hopes that the new US administration will demonstrate political will for an extension of the New START treaty, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told an online seminar on the prospects for arms control after the US elections on Tuesday.
"It is obvious that the resumption of a regular dialogue requires significant political will. For now, we can only wait until the next administration decides on its approaches to the Treaty extension and arms control issues in general," the Russian diplomat said.
"For its part, Russia is open to a substantive discussion of technical arrangements of the New START prolongation. There are still chances to reach an understanding before February 5, 2021, when the Treaty expires," the Russian embassy quoted him as saying on its Facebook account.
"Hopefully, the new team in White House will demonstrate proper commitment and political will," he stressed.
The ambassador is confident that the extension of New START for a 5-year period "will allow us to maintain the current ceilings on strategic offensive weapons as well as the level of transparency and predictability in US-Russia strategic relations".
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 remains in force for 10 years, until 2021, unless it is replaced before that date by a subsequent agreement on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. It can also be extended for no longer than 5 years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay prolongation of the treaty it describes as the gold standards in the area of disarmament.
During his election campaign, US President-elect Joe Biden came out in favor of extending the treaty.