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Moscow’s position on extending New START remains unchanged, says source

Moscow's idea is to prolong New START without any preconditions by five years and then to enter into a dialogue on arms control, with all strategic stability factors, including the evolution of weapons and military technologies, taken into account

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Russia’s position on the issue of prolonging the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) by five years, which the Foreign Ministry explained on January 20, remains in force after statements about the Joseph Biden-led administration’s intentions to agree to such prolongation, a source close to negotiations on extending the treaty told TASS on Friday.

"Our position was explained on January 20," he said.

The Washington Post on Thursday said that Biden was going to extend New START. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki later confirmed this. She avoided going into details regarding such an extension, though, but The Washington Post said that the prolonged treaty was to serve as the basis for wider agreements in the field of arms control involving China. Russia has repeatedly said that it is solely China’s prerogative to make a decision whether to participate in such agreements.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 20 that Moscow had already explained to Washington in writing its vision of the future of arms control and voiced hope that the new US administration would take a more constructive approach to it than the previous Donald Trump administration. Russia’s idea is to prolong New START without any preconditions by five years and then to enter into a dialogue on arms control, with all strategic stability factors, including the evolution of weapons and military technologies, taken into account.