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Moscow ready to discuss extension of New START Treaty

Russia is prepared to discuss the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) after resolving the issues concerning the existing agreement, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department Vladimir Yermakov said at a meeting of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Tuesday. The text of his speech was posted on the ministry’s website on Wednesday.

“We are ready to explore the option of extending the New START Treaty for another five years. The treaty allows that,” the diplomat said. “However, first it is necessary to tackle all remaining issues concerning compliance with it by the US.” He added that the issue at hand is Washington’s refusal to take into account a sizeable part of its strategic offensive arms when counting their total number.”

According to the diplomat, Russia reached the maximum levels of carriers and warheads under the treaty. “As a result, our nuclear arsenal has been reduced more than 85% compared to the height of the Cold War,” he noted.

“We need an interested and responsible partner,” Yermakov stressed.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) signed on April 8, 2010, entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers.

The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The new START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.

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