Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill extending the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty into law, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The move comes just two days after the Russian parliament unanimously agreed to prolong the pact that was about to expire on February 5. Earlier this week, President Putin and US President Joe Biden agreed to trigger the five-year extension clause following a lengthy phone call. This launched the paperwork needed to save the treaty, which had been left in limbo after the previous Donald Trump administration refused to prolong it without preconditions.

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FILE PHOTO: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., August 2, 2017.
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The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (known as New START) that came into force back in 2011 limits the number of nuclear warheads, and their delivery vehicles, the US and Russia are allowed to possess. The agreement is considered virtually the only remaining arms control agreement between the two nuclear powers.

Now, it is up to the US to legally formalize the extension. There have been no updates on the matter from Washington so far.

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FILE PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with US Vice President Joe Biden (L) on March 10, 2011 during their meeting in Moscow.
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