MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has branded as a positive signal the plans of Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for US secretary of state, to seek extension of New START (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).
"The fact that [US Secretary of State nominee Antony] Blinken has announced his readiness to handle the extension of the strategic arms reduction treaty is a positive signal, which we of course welcome," Ulyanov said in a televised interview with Rossiya’24 news channel on Wednesday.
According to Ulyanov, the United States is highly likely to return to the ranks of member states of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO, and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
"What is particularly important and interesting to our permanent mission here, in Vienna is that serious steps appear to be made to take the United States back into the Iran nuclear deal. At least, all the statements of our American counterparts from the new team of [US President Joe] Biden indicate that," Ulyanov added.
In his statement, Blinken claimed earlier that the Biden administration intends to work for the extension of New START. He promised to get down to this issue as soon as Biden swears in as president of the United States, as the Treaty expires in early February.
When asked to provide assurance that Washington would not concede for restrictions on the missile defense system at the talks, Blinken stated that he cannot imagine the circumstances when the US would do so.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow welcomed the display of US political will to extend the New START Treaty.