Russia not to unilaterally extend New START treaty: Putin

Russian RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems are seen on the Red Square for the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

Russia will not unilaterally extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

“If no one wants to extend the New START agreement, we will not do it either,” Putin said here at a meeting with heads of major news agencies.

“We have already said a hundred times that we are ready for talks, but no one is negotiating with us,” he added.

He said because there is no formal negotiation on the treaty, there will be no tools to limit an arms race or to prevent the placement of weapons in space when it expires in 2021.

Putin said that even without the extension of the treaty, Russia has the newest weapons that will guarantee its security.

The New START agreement was signed between the United States and Russia in 2010 and went into effect the following year. It envisages the two countries halving the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers by Feb. 5, 2018.