Experts: extension of the START treaty with Russia should become one of the priorities for Biden administration

The agreement expires on February 5, 2021.

The extension of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START I, unofficial name START III) with Russia should become one of the priority issues for the administration of the elected president, Joseph Biden. This was stated in a letter of 27 arms control experts sent to Biden’s transition team on November 19. The text of the letter was distributed on Wednesday news agency Reuters.

“It is clear that one of the priorities for the new administration should be to reach an agreement with Russia to extend the START Treaty for five years without preconditions until February 5, 2021”, –  the address said. – “Even before the inauguration day, the elected president’s team should publicly express interest in extending the agreement for five years and name a special representative who will be ready to start working with Russian partners from day one”.

Once an agreement on the extension of the treaty is reached, experts say, the new U.S. administration “should declare its intention to negotiate the next nuclear arms control agreements with Russia. Those agreements, they believe, “should aim to lower limits on U.S. and Russian delivery vehicles and warheads, cover non-strategic nuclear warheads, and address the relationship between offensive and defensive systems and long-range non-nuclear weapons. The subject matter of the negotiations, the experts stressed, should also include weapons previously prohibited by the Treaty on short- and medium-range missiles, as well as hypersonic weapons.

“We call on the new administration to seek statements from other nuclear powers about their willingness to freeze their nuclear arsenals while the U.S. and Russia seek more significant, verifiable reductions in their arsenals”, –  the letter said.