Putin signs extension of last Russia-US nuclear arms treaty

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a bill extending the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States a week before the pact was due to expire.

Both houses of the Russian parliament voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the New START treaty for five years. Putin and US President Joe Biden had discussed the nuclear accord a day earlier, and the Kremlin said they agreed to complete the necessary extension procedures in the next few days.

The pact’s extension doesn’t require congressional approval in the US, but Russian lawmakers had to ratify the move.

The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Biden indicated during the US presidential campaign that he favoured the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as vice president under Obama.

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