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Friday, May 7th, 2021

Sens. Van Hollen, Young urge Trump to extend New START arms agreement with Russia

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U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN) are urging the Trump Administration to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia.

The senators said it’s vital to preserve the New START agreement for national security and nuclear stability with Russia.

“We write to express our strong desire that your administration extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia before it expires in fewer than four months. Renewing this treaty – the last standing arms control agreement limiting the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals – will further our national security and that of our allies. We thus urge you to extend New START, which may be complemented by a mutual freeze on current warhead stockpiles, without delay,” the Senators wrote to President Trump.

The Senators said the treaty would put caps on Russia’s deployed strategic warheads and deployed and non-deployed long-range delivery vehicles. It will also impose a verification regime for on-site inspections and data exchanges. Further, the treaty provides an environment in which the U.S. can continue to shape its own nuclear forces while laying the groundwork for further arms control negotiations with Russia.

“It is not only our view that New START continues to underpin strategic stability with Russia. Top U.S. military officials, as well as our allies, agree. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten, testified while serving as Commander of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM): “I am a big supporter of the New START agreement.” Likewise, STRATCOM Commander Admiral Charles Richard recently voiced support for the treaty, stating that “the New START Treaty has been an important transparency mechanism for maintaining U.S.-Russian stability.” As your State Department acknowledged in a July 2020 report to Congress, our allies and partners endorse renewing New START, viewing it as a boon to strategic stability,” the Senators wrote.