US President Joe Biden called Russia and China to enter nuclear arms control talks, saying that Moscow in particular has a duty to show responsibility after its attack in Ukraine.
In a statement, the US leader reiterated that his administration is ready to “expeditiously negotiate” a replacement to New START, the treaty capping intercontinental nuclear forces in the United States and Russia, which is set to expire in 2026.
“Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control,” Biden said.
“But negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith. And Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and constitutes an attack on fundamental tenets of international order.”
Turning to China, which has been bolstering its much smaller nuclear arsenal, Biden said the communist state has a duty as a permanent member of the UN Security Council “to engage in talks that will reduce the risk of miscalculation and address destabilizing military dynamics.”
“There is no benefit to any of our nations, or for the world, to resist substantive engagement on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation,” Biden said.
Biden said nuclear superpowers Russia and the United States in particular have a responsibility to set the tone, ensuring the viability of the landmark nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, which seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology worldwide.
“The health of the NPT has always rested on meaningful, reciprocal arms limits between the United States and Russian Federation. Even at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were able to work together to uphold our shared responsibility to ensure strategic stability,” Biden said.
“The world can be confident that my administration will continue to support the NPT and seek to strengthen the non-proliferation architecture that protects people everywhere.”