MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. Russia’s missile systems Sarmat and Avangard fit in well with the strategic arms reduction treaty New START and may be included in it, the deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, Vladimir Leontiev, said during a discussion on the future of strategic nuclear weapons within the US-Russia-China triangle on the platform of the discussion club Valdai.
"As far as new Russian systems are concerned, the situation is dual. There are two systems that clearly fall under the treaty. First, the Sarmat, which can be easily included in the treaty as a new type ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile), for which there is a special procedure, from the creation of a prototype to its authorization for service," he said.
In his opinion, if the Sarmat materializes at least as a prototype while the New START is still effective, including the period of its likely prolongation, there will be no problems.
"There are no big problems with Avangard, either, because it is an optional warhead for an ICBM of the corresponding type, to which the treaty applies, too," Leontiev said. "The Avangard will enter the Treaty very smoothly."
The New START treaty took effect in 2011 for a period of ten years, unless it is replaced by a new agreement before 2021. Also, it can be prolonged for five years (up to 2026) by mutual consent.