France welcomes the decision by the United States and Russia to extend the New Start Treaty for five years. It welcomes the efforts and responsiveness of the two parties aimed at ensuring the extension of treaty before its expiry on February 5.
The New Start Treaty is a pillar of the international arms control and disarmament architecture. It is vital to strategic stability and the last instrument still in effect aimed at limiting the capabilities of the United States and Russia, which still account for almost 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Its extension therefore constitutes a very positive signal in the run-up to the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) due to take place in August.
France reaffirms its attachment to ensuring that the extension of the New Start Treaty must be swiftly followed by the redefinition of an ambitious, more comprehensive arms control and strategic stability agenda. The Europeans, who are concerned first and foremost, must play an active role in that regard to determine the parameters needed to strengthen European security and stability.