The EU is calling on Russia and the USA to prolong the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) before February 2021, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated on Tuesday during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, APA reports citing TASS.
"We strongly call for the extension by the US and Russia of the New START Treaty before February 2021, and we will encourage negotiations for a broader future agreement," he said.
The New START Treaty will expire at the beginning of 2021 unless Moscow and Washington agree to renew it. 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) 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 will remain in force for 10 years, until February 5, 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) by the parties’ mutual consent.
Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay prolongation of the treaty it describes as a golden standard in the area of disarmament. In an interview with the Financial Times in June 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that once the New START Treaty ceased to exist, "then there would be no instrument in the world to curtail the arms race.".