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Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered the Foreign Ministry to begin talks with the United States to extend the last nuclear disarmament treaty in force between the two countries, the New START, after his first conversation the day before with Joe Biden as the new president of USA.
"Entrust the Russian Foreign Ministry to carry out talks with the US side to sign said international agreement," reads the decree published on the Russian Government's legal information portal.
The presidents of Russia and the United States agreed the day before to extend that treaty, which
expired on February 5
, according to the Kremlin.
Putin appointed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
as the official representative of the Russian Presidency during the ratification process of the extension of the agreement in the Federal Assembly of Russia.
For his part, Riabkov told the press that the agreement will be signed
"for five years without preconditions, without any annexes
"In our conditions", he affirmed, noting that the extension of the agreement is a profitable decision for both parties that will allow to initiate deep bilateral talks on strategic stability.
The extension project sent by Putin to the Federal Assembly already has the preliminary approval of the Defense and Security Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Senate (Upper House), in addition to that of the Defense Committee of the Russian Duma (House low), according to Interfax.
No confirmation from Washington
The extension of the New START yesterday centered the first telephone conversation between the presidents of both countries.
After the call, the Kremlin assured that both leaders reached an agreement to extend the treaty for five years,
but the White House has not yet confirmed it
and says that both parties are still negotiating to unify positions before it expires.
Specifically, in a statement, the Kremlin indicated that both parties reached an "agreement" and that "in the next few days" all the necessary procedures will be completed to guarantee the extension of the New START.
Putin had insistently called in recent months for dialogue with the US
to extend the treaty "even for a year."
He assured that Moscow is open to including in the negotiations the new hypersonic weaponry developed by Russia which, he insisted, has "no comparison" in the world and is capable of surpassing the US antimissile shield.
The New START, signed on April 8, 2010 in Prague by the then US presidents,
, and Russia,
, limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons, with a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 ballistic systems for each of the two powers, on land, sea or air.
The previous US administration insisted on China's participation in the negotiations, something that Beijing rejects and that Moscow never supported.
Russia in turn has said that in any case,
France and the United Kingdom
, the other two declared nuclear powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council,
be included in the negotiations
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