- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday suggested that the Kremlin may welcome a Joe Biden administration over a second Trump administration, as the former vice president has appeared more open to striking arms control agreements than the current president.

The U.S. and Russia participated in another round of negotiations as a deadline to renew the last remaining nuclear pact between Washington and Moscow that expires in February.

Biden has publicly said that he is ready to extend New START or to sign a new treaty on limiting strategic offensive weapons,” Mr. Putin told Rossiya-1 television on Wednesday. “It is already a key element of our possible cooperation in the future.”

The 10-year-old New START, also known as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, limits the number of deployable U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons at 1,550. The accord also reduced by half the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers each side may have and set up a new inspection and verification regime to prevent violations.

Mr. Putin has previously welcomed a five-year renewal of the treaty, but Washington has been hesitant to rejoin, citing Russia’s violations to previous nuclear treaties and has insisted that China join a three-country pact.

Mr. Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, said last year that if elected, he would pursue an extension of the treaty, which he called “an anchor of strategic stability between the United States and Russia, and use that as a foundation for new arms control agreements.”

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