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Russia puzzled by Biden proposal to replace nuclear arms treaty


MOSCOW:

A Russian foreign ministry source expressed puzzlement on Monday about a proposal from US President Joe Biden to negotiate a new nuclear arms control framework to replace the New START Treaty when it expires in 2026.

Biden said in a statement on Monday that his administration was ready to “expeditiously” negotiate a new framework but that Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the United States.

“Is this a serious statement or has the White House website been hacked?” a Russian foreign ministry source told Reuters. “If this is still a serious intention, with whom exactly do they intend to discuss it?”

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The New START Treaty, struck in 2011, obliged the United States and Russia to limit deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

It also put limits on nuclear warheads on those deployed missiles and bombers and the launchers for those missiles. Both sides reached the central limits of the Treaty by Feb. 5, 2018 and the Treaty has been extended to the end of Feb. 4, 2026.

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