08.12.2022

Putin Signs New START Extension

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on legislation extending a key nuclear pact between Russia and the United States by five years, the Kremlin said Friday.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the federal law ‘on the ratification of the extension of the agreement between Russia and the U.S.’,” the Kremlin said in a statement, referring to New START.

“The current federal law enters force on the day of its official publication,” the statement said.

The New START treaty is the last remaining arms reduction pact between the former Cold War rivals.

The Kremlin said the extension of the pact “allows to preserve the transparency and predictability of strategic relations between Russia and the United States, and to support global strategic stability.”

Russia’s parliament had backed the extension earlier this week.

Putin had submitted the bill to both houses of parliament after the Russian leader and new U.S. President Joe Biden held their first phone call Tuesday evening.

Addressing the World Economic Forum being held virtually this year, Putin on Wednesday hailed the extension of the treaty as a positive development in reducing global tensions.

“No doubt it is a step in the right direction,” Putin said.

Signed in 2010, New START caps to 1,550 the number of nuclear warheads that can be deployed by Moscow and Washington, which control the world’s largest nuclear arsenals.

The agreement, which is due to expire on February 5, is seen as a rare opportunity for compromise between Moscow and Washington, whose ties have dramatically deteriorated in recent years.

Putin Sends Queen Elizabeth II Condolences Following Prince Philip’s Death

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her husband, Prince Philip, the Kremlin said Friday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest serving royal consort in British history, died Friday at age 99. He was discharged from hospital in March a month after treatment for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

“The name of His Royal Highness is associated with many important events in your country’s recent history,” Putin said in a telegram to Queen Elizabeth.

“He rightfully enjoyed respect among the British and internationally,” Putin said.

The Kremlin said Russia’s president wished the 94-year-old monarch “courage and spiritual fortitude in the face of a heavy and irreparable loss.”

Russia’s Embassy in London linked Prince Philip to Russia’s last imperial family in a tweet sending condolences on his passing.

“The Duke of Edinburgh, great-great-grandson of Russian Emperor Nicholas I, was admired and will be mourned by many Russians,” it said.

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