WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s effort to better protect our nation’s arms control architecture by seeking a five year extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), a rigorous post-Cold War nuclear arms control agreement designed to ensure limits on Russia’s nuclear arsenal:
“I’m very pleased to hear the Biden administration is rapidly moving toward a five year extension of the New START treaty. New START is critical for U.S. national security. It constrains Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, provides strong and detailed verification measures to ensure Russia adheres to its commitments, and ensures the United States has the flexibility it needs to maintain a safe, secure, modern, and effective nuclear deterrent.
“This is an excellent first step in the Biden administration’s efforts to restore arms control as a critical tool for protecting the American people. I look forward to future efforts that seek to limit non-strategic nuclear weapons, which threaten our allies and new arms control initiatives that include China.
In addition, the Biden administration must confront a revanchist Russia that continues to threaten the United States and our allies. I expect a strong response from the administration to address the recent SolarWinds cyberattack, Kremlin attacks on our election process, and its brutal efforts to silence and murder political opposition.
“Finally, unlike the previous administration, I appreciate that the Biden team consulted with the Committee about this vital arms control decision.”