New START extension: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union

The EU welcomes the agreement reached between the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the New START Treaty for an additional five years.

The EU attaches the highest importance to the New START Treaty and regards it as a crucial contribution to international and European security. The reduction of deployed strategic nuclear arsenals under the New START Treaty, enhanced notably by its robust verification mechanism, contributes to the implementation of Article VI of the NPT through the overall reduction in the global stockpile of deployed nuclear weapons. By increasing predictability and mutual confidence amongst the two largest nuclear weapon States, this Treaty limits strategic competition and increases strategic stability.

The EU stresses the need to preserve and further advance general arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation processes. Recalling the obligations for all nuclear weapon States arising from Art. VI of the NPT, we underline that the two nuclear weapon States with the largest arsenals hold a special responsibility in the area of nuclear disarmament and arms control. We encourage seeking further reductions to their arsenals including strategic and non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons and to pursue further discussions on confidence-building, transparency, risk reduction, including strategic and nuclear risk reduction measures, verification activities, laying the ground for even more robust future arms control agreements and reporting. In this regard, the EU welcomes the increased transparency shown by some nuclear-weapon states on their doctrines and the nuclear weapons they possess and calls on others to do likewise.