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The Biden administration will seek a five-year renewal of a major nuclear arms control agreement between the U.S. and Russia, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed on Thursday.

The New START treaty expires next week, so it is among the most urgent national security questions facing the new administration. The pact, which went into effect in 2011, caps the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and bombs for each country, as well as the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers assigned to nuclear missions.

“The president has long been clear that the New START treaty is in the national security interest of the United States,” Psaki told reporters at a White House briefing. The Washington Post first reported the Biden administration’s decision to seek a five-year extension of the treaty.





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