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UN Secretary General calls on Russia, US to continue nuclear arms reduction talks

February 06, 2018, 0:49 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Antonio Guterres congratulates Washington and Moscow on successfully reducing their strategic nuclear forces to the level required by "New START"

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UNITED NATIONS, February 5. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has congratulated Russia and the United States on the implementation of their liabilities under New START Treaty and called on them to begin discussions on further disarmament, Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

"The Secretary-General congratulates the United States and the Russian Federation on successfully reducing their strategic nuclear forces to the level required by the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, otherwise known as "New START"," he said in a written statement. "The Secretary-General calls on the United States and the Russian Federation to engage in the necessary dialogue that will lead to further arsenal reductions and to continue to display the historic leadership across the multilateral disarmament agenda that has proven so valuable to our collective security."

He stressed the necessity of further disarmament efforts, especially in the current global situation "when global anxieties about nuclear weapons are higher than at any time since the Cold War."

"These endeavors can play significant roles in building trust and confidence, and preventing, mitigating and resolving conflicts," he underscored.

Earlier on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said that Russia confirmed its firm commitment to the treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) and urged the United States to continue the search for mutually acceptable solutions.

"Russia confirms its commitment to the New START treaty," the 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.

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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