The administration of US President-elect Joe Biden will immediately after the inauguration deal with the issue of the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START, START-3), said Anthony Blinken, who was nominated for the post of Secretary of State.
According to him, the team of Mr. Biden will seek to extend the contract.
“We will strive to extend it. As president, he will decide on the duration of the treaty,” Mr Blinken said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing (quoted by Reuters). He considers it possible that the contract will be extended for five years. The candidate for secretary of state assured that the administration would not agree to any restrictions on the missile defense system.
Similarly, the candidate for the post of head of the Pentagon, retired General Lloyd Austin, spoke at the hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The general said that he and the president believe that START is in the interests of national security. He also advocated multilateral agreements on arms reduction. At the same time, Mr. Austin noted that nuclear arms control also meets the interests of national security.
The candidate for the post of the head of the Ministry of Defense also expressed hope for continued cooperation with Russia in the Arctic. He expressed concern that Moscow is building up military power in the region, as well as Beijing’s plans.
At the same time, Mr. Austin believes that Russia will remain a real threat “for years to come.” In his opinion, Moscow takes advantage of the openness of the United States and “drives wedges between the United States and partners.”
Russia failed to agree with the United States on the extension of START during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. Joe Biden, in the course of the election campaign, promised to extend the contract. It will expire on February 5, 2021.