US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a statement on the extension of the strategic offensive arms treaty with Russia.
“President Biden has pledged to protect the American people from nuclear threats by restoring US leadership in arms control and nonproliferation. Today, the United States took the first step towards fulfilling that promise by extending the START III treaty with the Russian Federation for five years, ”Blinken said.
“The extension of the START III treaty guarantees the existence of verifiable restrictions on Russian ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers until February 5, 2026. The START III verification regime allows us to monitor Russia’s compliance with the treaty and gives us a better understanding of its nuclear position, including through data exchange and on-site inspections that allow US inspectors to monitor Russian nuclear forces and facilities. The United States has annually assessed the Russian Federation’s compliance with its START III commitments since its entry into force in 2011, ”the head of the State Department said in a statement.
“Verifiable restrictions on Russian intercontinental nuclear weapons are vital, especially in times of tension. The extension of START III strengthens the security of the United States, its allies and partners, and the entire world. An unchecked nuclear race would endanger all of us, ”Blinken stated.
“President Biden has made it clear that the START III extension is only the beginning of our efforts to address the security challenges of the 21st century. The United States, along with Congress and allies and partners, will use the time provided by the START III five-year extension to negotiate an arms control mechanism with the Russian Federation that would cover its entire arsenal of nuclear weapons. We will also strive to establish an arms control mechanism that mitigates the threat posed by China’s modern and growing nuclear arsenal. The United States is committed to effective arms control that enhances stability, transparency, and predictability, while reducing the risks of a costly and dangerous arms race, ”the foreign minister said.
At the same time, Anthony Blinken noted that the United States is still clearly aware of “the problems that Russia poses for the United States and the whole world.” “While we are working with Russia to advance US interests, we will also seek to hold Russia accountable for confrontational actions as well as human rights violations,” he said.
At a briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated that on February 3, the United States and the Russian Federation “completed the necessary legal procedures to extend START III for five years.” He stressed that the extended START-3 treaty clearly limits the number of Russian nuclear warheads installed on ICBMs that can reach US territory in about 30 minutes. And in addition, Price added, Washington will use the time provided by the prolongation of the treaty to further work with Moscow to reduce the threat of nuclear war.