20:30 GMT +322 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Leading Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday urging the administration to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), a bilateral nuclear arms control agreement expiring in the coming years.

    "A failure to extend New START will have lasting consequences on the United States’ ability to contain the Russian nuclear threat and properly shape US nuclear forces," the lawmakers, led by Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Eliot Engel, said in the letter.

    The remark follows the Russian Embassy's in the United States announcement made last week that Moscow and Washington are not engaged in any contacts on extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, thus, denying speculations that Russia and the US are now negotiating the future of the deal.

    Late last month, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that an extension of the New START would not be a simple procedure, because the United States and Russia must first settle some crucial matters.

    READ MORE: Russia Ready to Extend New START, But Future of Treaty in Doubt — Antonov

    New START went into force in 2011 and covers a 10-year period with the possibility of a five-year extension. The agreement limits the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, nuclear armed bombers and nuclear warheads.


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    nuclear threat, START treaty, Bob Menendez, Donald Trump, United States
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