01:46 GMT02 December 2020
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    The current arms control treaty between the United States and Russia expires on 5 February next year. New START is the last remaining arms control agreement between the two states, setting the limit for deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550.

    UN Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu is calling on the United States and Russia to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) for five years in its current form.

    "Let's focus on preserving what we have. Unfortunately, with INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty], that did not happen. But New START is something that is still in effect, so let's try to keep what we have and then extend it, as long as possible up to five years," Nakamitsu said.

    In late December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated Russia's willingness to extend START with the United States without preconditions.

    However, the US has remained undecided about the extension. The Trump administration has so far insisted that there is still a considerable amount of time to ponder whether to extend the treaty.

    New START was signed back in 2010, stipulating that the number of strategic nuclear missiles launchers must be cut by half while limiting the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. 

    After the United States pulled out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia on 2 August, new START remains the last agreement between the two states to prevent uncontrolled weapons proliferation.

    Tags:
    Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, agreement, arms control, nuclear weapons, Russia, US
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