The United States seeks a five-year extension of the New START treaty, the White House has said, asserting that President Joe Biden has long been clear that this is in the national security interest of the US.
“The United States intends to seek a five-year extension of New START as the treaty permits. The president has long been clear that the New START treaty is in the national security interest of the United States,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.
This extension makes even more sense when the relationship with Russia is adversarial as it is at this time. New START is the only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and is an anchor of strategic stability between the two countries, she said.
“Even as we work with Russia to advance US interests, so too we work to hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions,” she said.
And to this end, the president is also issuing a tasking to the intelligence community for its full assessment of the Solar Winds cyber breach, Russian interference in the 2020 election, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the alleged bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, Psaki said.
Pentagon’s new spokesman John Kirby said that Russia’s compliance with the treaty has served American national security interests well, and Americans are much safer with New START intact and extended.
“We cannot afford to lose New START’s intrusive inspection and notification tools. Failing to swiftly extend New START would weaken America’s understanding of Russia’s long-range nuclear forces,” he said.