Valentina Matviyenko: New START Treaty extension to rank among key 2021 events

The Federation Council approved the ratification of the New START Treaty extension.

The Federation Council approved the law on ratifying the New START Treaty (Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms) of 8 April 2010 between the Russian Federation and the United States.

Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that the law’s contents completely met the Russian position, initially set forth on 5 December 2019 by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. “The Treaty is being extended for the maximum possible term of five years and without additional terms. This is our position and our success.”

The Senator noted that after ten years it is possible to say that the treaty ensures the Russian Federation’s overall national security. “If the New START Treaty had not been extended, the ceilings and quantitative restrictions would have been discarded, and this would have reopened a possibility for continuing the arms race.”

Konstantin Kosachev added that the extension of the treaty retained detailed terms for conducting mutual inspections, as well as obligations not to deploy the parties’ nuclear weapons outside their national territories.

Viktor Bondarev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security, recalled that the treaty had been drafted in strict compliance with the principles of equal and indivisible security on a parity basis.

“It was Russia that initiated the preservation of the New START Treaty. The insistent position of the President of the Russian Federation was a breakthrough in bilateral relations with the United States.”

The President of the United States has drawn the right conclusions regarding the militarisation of industry and the swelling of the defence budget and has responded to the Russian initiative and set a new direction on disarmament. According to him, this offers hope for military cooperation.

Viktor Bondarev noted that the extension met the interests of the Russian Federation, the United States and the world in terms of global security. “We hope that this will help scale down international tension and normalise Russian-US relations and the overall situation.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the treaty did not limit the right to independently determine the composition and structure of the country’s strategic offensive arms, to upgrade them or to develop new systems. “The extension of the New START Treaty will facilitate the mid-term predictability of strategic US programmes. This step will help prevent the destruction of political-diplomatic mechanisms for maintaining strategic stability and preserve transparent and predictable Russian-US relationship in this sphere.”

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko noted that the agreement on extending the New START Treaty was a crucial event for the global security system. “The New START Treaty has been extended; this will rank among key 2021 events.”

The Federation Council Speaker called the ratification positive news against the backdrop of turbulent processes in the world. In her words, the world closely followed reports on whether the treaty, a crucial document for global stability and security, would be extended.

Valentina Matviyenko noted that, during their talks, the President of the Russian Federation and the President of the United States had made a responsible decision and displayed political will. “This is an example of the fact that, despite the disagreements, Russia and the United States can display a responsible and pragmatic approach and reach an agreement when it comes to global stability and global security, and when mutual interests are taken into account. According to the Federation Council Speaker, this opens an opportunity for further dialogue on matters of strategic stability and security where the Russian Federation and the United States play a key role in the world.