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Russian lawmakers propose to suspend New START Treaty

July 17, 2014, 13:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
As a response to the expansion of US sanctions Russian lawmakers offered to revise the New START Treaty, the terms of the Afghan transit and suspend them
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Kazak

MOSCOW, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Members of the State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament have proposed as a response to the expansion of US sanctions against Russia to unilaterally suspend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) and the agreement on the Afghan transit.

“It is necessary to negotiate with the Americans only from the position of strength. We should revise the New START Treaty, the terms of the Afghan transit and suspend them. It is necessary to look for various options, revise the most sensitive for the United States issues of our bilateral relations,” first deputy head of the house international affairs committee Leonid Kalashnikov told ITAR-TASS. “Ukraine is only a link in the chain of America’s anti-Russian policy. Sanctions would have been adopted in any case, even if Russia had built a wall around the Ukrainian border.”

The Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) was signed in April 2010 and came into force in February 2011. Its term is 10 years. Under the terms of the treaty, the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers is to be reduced by half. The treaty limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, which is down nearly two-thirds from the original START treaty, as well as 10% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

The total number of deployed warheads, however, could exceed the 1,550 limit by a few hundred because per bomber only one warhead is counted regardless of how many it actually carries. It also limits the number of deployed and non-deployed inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments to 800.

 The number of deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments is limited to 700. The treaty allows for satellite and remote monitoring, as well as 18 on-site inspections per year to verify limits.

NATO co-operation with Russia on Afghanistan, including on the transit of cargoes for NATO forces through the Russian territory was suspended until June. According to available data, NATO has offered Azerbaijan some new platform for co-operation in the transit of cargoes for the international coalition forces in Afghanistan.

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