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Russia extends nuclear arms pact with the US

Russia's parliament has approved an extension of the last major nuclear-weapons treaty remaining with the United States, a key step towards preserving a cornerstone of global arms control.

The treaty, called "New START" was last signed in 2010. It was set to expire next week and limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles, and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed to the lower house that the agreement is to extend the treaty for a further five years, without any changes being made to it.

The TASS news agency also quoted him as saying the deal had been agreed ‘on our terms’.

Moscow and Washington had failed to agree an extension under former U.S. President Donald Trump, who wanted to attach certain conditions to the renewal.

However, after President Joe Biden spoke with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, they agreed their teams should work urgently to complete the extension before the February 5th expiry.