The U.S. and Russia have extended the Nuclear Arms Treaty, limiting the stockpiles of nuclear weapons, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State and an inductee into Executive Mosaic's Wash100 for 2021, said the U.S. would use the five years of the New START treaty’s renewal to pursue limits on all of Russia’s nuclear weapons.
“Especially during times of tension, verifiable limits on Russia’s intercontinental-range nuclear weapons are vitally important. Extending the New START Treaty makes the United States, U.S. allies and partners, and the world safer,” Blinken said.
The initial treaty was signed in 2010 and restricted the number of U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
Both houses of Russia's parliament voted unanimously last month for the extension, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the bill. The extension doesn’t require formal congressional approval in the U.S. The Biden administration will also work on control measures for China’s smaller but growing arsenal of nuclear warheads, Blinken said.
“An unconstrained nuclear competition would endanger us all,” Blinken added. The extended treaty follows Blinken’s Senate confirmation in a 78-22 vote in January. During his confirmation hearing, Blinken said he plans to review U.S. policy toward North Korea and take a tougher approach to Russia and China.
He also shared his views on the Iran nuclear deal and Abraham Accords, which led to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco to open diplomatic relations with Israel, as well as plans to advance multiculturalism within the diplomatic corps.
Blinken also intends to assess or reverse are the terrorist designation against Houthi rebels in Yemen, low cap on refugee admissions and U.S. relations with Taiwan. he co-founded WestExec Advisors, a consulting group that works to evaluate the nation’s foreign and national security policies.