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Russia confirms commitment to New START treaty — Foreign Ministry

February 05, 11:46 UTC+3

Russia will hand over to the United States an official notification confirming its commitment to the New START treaty

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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russia confirms its firm commitment to the treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) and urges the United States to continue the search for mutually acceptable solutions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

"Russia confirms its commitment to the New START treaty," the Foreign Ministry said. "Russia addresses the United States with an insistent call for continuing a constructive search for mutually acceptable solutions in resolving problems related with the conversion and exclusion of strategic offensive arms from the list of units of account, as well as any other issues the parties may have in connection compliance with the New START treaty.

Russia’s compliance with New START

Russia in the near future will hand over to the United States an official notification confirming Moscow is in compliance with its liabilities under the treaty on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (New START), the statement runs.

"Russia is in full compliance with its liabilities to reduce strategic offensive weapons. As at February 5, 2018 our aggregate potential is as follows: 527 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles and deployed heavy bombers; 1,444 warheads on deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles and deployed heavy bombers; 779 deployed and non-deployed ballistic missile launchers, operational and non-deployed submarine-based ballistic missile launchers and deployed and non-deployed heavy bombers," the Foreign Ministry said.

"The United States in the near future will receive an official notification confirming these figures," the statement runs.

Questions to US partners

As the Foreign Ministry pointed out, Russia has doubts if the United States adheres to one of the clauses of the treaty - Moscow does not regard conversion and requalification of part of the weapons as real reduction.

"Russia takes into account the United States’ declaration it has achieved the agreed aggregate levels of strategic offensive arms," the statement runs. "At the same time we point out that the declared achievement of the START parameters by the United States is a result of not only real reductions of weapons, but conversion of some launchers and heavy bombers B-52H, carried out in a way that leaves no chance for Russia to verify if these strategic weapons have been converted to a condition that rules out the use of submarine-launched ballistic submarines Trident-II and nuclear weapons of heavy bombers, as is provided for by Item 3 of Section 1 of Part Three of the Protocol to the treaty. The same applies to the requalification of silos previously meant for training into a class of "silo training launchers," beyond the scope of New START.

New START

The New START took effect in 2011. Under the treaty either party shall reduce its strategic offensive arms in a way that will ensure at the end of a seven-year period following the effective date and further on the aggregate amount should not exceed 700 units of account for deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and heavy bombers (TB), 1,550 warheads for them and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and heavy bombers.

According to a memo the US Department of State made public in January 2018 Russia as at September 1, 2017 had at its disposal 501 deployed weapons delivery vehicles and 1,561 warheads for them. The United States had 660 delivery vehicles and 1,393 warheads. US President Donald Trump in February 2017 criticized New START, but in September the White House hinted there was a possibility the treaty might be prolonged.

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