Earlier this week, 22 U.S. religious leaders sent President Joe Biden’s then-transition team a letter asking the now-President to extend the United States’ participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction (New START) agreement.
The treaty, which the U.S. and the Russian Federation signed in 2011, is set to expire on Feb. 5
Living Lutheran reports that the letter calls for an immediate five year extension of the agreement:
“We call for an immediate five-year extension of the New START treaty, in order to avoid a nuclear crisis interfering with the other urgent priorities facing the nation and the world—from containing the pandemic to restarting the economy. Equally, a five-year extension would provide a period of predictability for new negotiations on further steps to reduce nuclear dangers.”
In participating in the joint statement, Lutheran leaders said they hoped such an extension would result in fewer nuclear weapons worldwide.
“We hope this, and future, initiatives can lead to concrete steps by the U.S., Russia and, eventually, other nuclear powers to reduce the danger of an unimaginable nuclear confrontation and lay a path instead for meeting urgent human needs,” said Dennis Frado, director of the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations. “It reflects the importance of moral leadership to promote confidence-building measures that help adversaries to re-create a basis for a more secure world.”
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