13:47 GMT08 March 2021
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    AMSTERDAM (Sputnik) - The European Union welcomes the agreement between the US and Russia to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START Treaty), European Commission foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano told Sputnik on Thursday.

    The spokesman stated that the treaty makes a crucial contribution to international and European security.

    "We welcome the US and Russia´s agreement to extend the duration of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by a further five years. The New START Treaty is a crucial contribution to international and European security ... The dialogue between the US and the Russian Federation is an important step for the future of the Treaty and potential new arms control arrangements to preserve strategic stability," Stano said.
    Retired B-52 strategic bombers
    Retired B-52 strategic bombers

    He also noted that the treaty significantly contributed to the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and stressed that the US and Russia — two nuclear-weapon states with the largest arsenals with special responsibility for arms control and nuclear disarmament — should seek to further reduce their arsenals.

    On Wednesday, Russia and the US agreed to prolong the New START arms reduction deal by five years, mere days before it was due to expire.

    New START has been in force since 2011 and was due to expire on 5 February. It is the only remaining legally binding agreement on nuclear arms control between the two countries that own the world's largest nuclear stockpiles. The deal is premised on the proposition that each side ultimately reduce its nuclear arsenal to total 700 missiles, 1,550 warheads and 800 launchers.

    Russia, US, Peter Stano, Strategic Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), New START Treaty, New START Treaty, New START, European Union
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