The international anti-nuclear weapons group Global Zero is urging President Donald Trump to accept with open arms an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin to "extend the New START treaty immediately, before the year's end, and without any preconditions."
The 2010 treaty—first signed by the former presidents of the two nations, Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, but which has floundered since Trump took office—limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.
In his comments on Thursday, Putin said Russia has put forth a set of proposals to see agreement of the pact resumed, "but we have got no response from our partners."
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In response to the news, Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, said it was a "security no-brainer" for the Trump administration to accept Putin's outstretched hand on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
"Losing New START," said Johnson, "would set the United States and Russia on a path to nuclear anarchy: a state of affairs where legal constraints of nuclear arsenals has ended and norms of voluntary restraint are weak or nonexistent. We'd all be flying blind into a nuclear arms race."
Extending New START is an easy step to avoid an unrestrained nuclear arms race and provides space for negotiating an expanded follow-on agreement. @realdonaldtrump, the ball is in your court. #ExtendNewSTART https://t.co/2g5HvevtVo— Global Zero (@globalzero) December 5, 2019
"At the stroke of a pen, Trump could extend New START, preserve critical verification tools, and strengthen restraints on Russia's nuclear ambitions for the long-haul," added Johnson. "If the President is serious about addressing the catastrophic threat of nuclear weapons, a golden opportunity has just been handed to him. The time to make the deal is now."