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US, Russia making 'remarkable' progress on extension of nuclear arms control treaty, diplomat says

US, Russia making 'remarkable' progress on extension of nuclear arms control treaty, diplomat says
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The Kremlin and the Biden administration are making "remarkable" progress toward an extension of the New START treaty, a Russian diplomat said on Tuesday, referring to the pact governing the deployment of nuclear warheads and other equipment.

Mikhail Ulyanov, the ambassador leading Russia's consulate in Vienna, Austria, tweeted that "remarkable and speedy progress" is being made toward the extension of the nuclear arms control treaty, which is set to expire next month.

"There are reasons to expect that the relevant agreement can become a reality very soon," Ulyanov added.

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His remarks come as multiple news outlets reported that the U.S. and Russia on Tuesday exchanged documents necessary to begin a formal extension of the treaty. 

On the same day, Russia's Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFor better or worse: Which way will US-Saudi relations go under Biden? How to rethink Russia sanctions Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon MORE and President Biden spoke on the phone about a range of topics including the treaty as well as the arrest of Alexei Navalny, a top opposition leader who recently recovered from a poisoning attack that was blamed on Kremlin intelligence operatives.

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The New START treaty was negotiated while Biden served in the Obama administration. 

Last week, Russia's government appeared to swipe at the Trump administration for not pursuing an extension of the treaty more vigorously.

"We expect that the new U.S. administration will take a more constructive approach in its dialogue with us," said Russia's foreign ministry in a statement carried by The Moscow Times.

"We are ready for such work on principles of equal rights and taking mutual interests into account," it continued.