Biden seeking five-year extension of New START arms treaty with Russia, WH confirms

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's plans to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic during a COVID-19 response event at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden will be seeking a five-year extension to the New START arms control treaty with Russia, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday, confirming earlier reporting.

The decision had to be made quickly because the treaty, which limits the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads each, is due to expire on Feb. 5.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Chris Reese