On Friday, Putin proposed that the nuclear arms control pact, or New START treaty, be extended for at least one year. The treaty is on course to expire in February unless the countries agree to its extension.
The treaty was originally signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. It places limits on each country’s possession of nuclear weapons in an attempt to contain the arms race. Each country is limited to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.
This is the only remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries that is still active. Previously, Russia offered a five-year extension with no new conditions, but the U.S. administration is arguing for a new deal to incorporate China. Russia is hesitant on this deal, however, pointing to China’s reluctance to negotiate deals that reduce its nuclear arsenal.
Putin believes that the one-year extension on the existing treaty would allow for further negotiation. The United States, however, is skeptical about reaching a deal, as Russia will not accept any new conditions.