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Russia ready to discuss extension of New START treaty with US — diplomat

September 12, 23:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"In order to begin those discussions, we need to know that Washington also has this option on table," the Russian diplomat said

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MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to start discussions on expanding the New START treaty for another five-year term if both sides are ready for this, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Non-Proliferation and Weapons Control Department Mikhail Ulyanov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

"In fact, the New START treaty, in force until 2021, has an option of being extended for a five-year period. We have not made our minds yet, but we are ready to consider this option, at least, to discuss it with the US side," he said.

"In order to begin those discussions, we need to know that Washington also has this option on table," the diplomat said. "So far, we don’t see this."

The ten-year Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3), signed by the Russian and US presidents in Prague on April 8, 2010, took effect on February 5, 2011, after the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) and the US Congress had ratified it. The treaty stipulates that both countries should cut the number of deployed strategic delivery vehicles to 700 units and reduce the number of installed warheads to 1,550. The treaty also obligates Russia and the United States to exchange information about the number of warheads and delivery vehicles twice a year.

According to the information exchanged on March 1, 2017, in compliance with the treaty, Russia currently has a total of 523 deployed strategic delivery vehicles with 1,765 installed warheads, while the United States has as many as 673 delivery vehicles with 1,411 warheads.

Both countries are expected to reach the level envisaged by the treaty by February 5, 2018.

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