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Russia ready to include Avangard, Sarmat systems in New START after its extension - Lavrov

"We have already presented Avangard to the Americans and we will be ready to do the same with Sarmat at a certain stage", Russian Foreign Minister said

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia is prepared to include its Avangard and Sarmat missile systems in New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) when it is extended, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Bolshaya Igra (Big Game) program on Russia’s television Channel One.

"We told the Americans [at a bilateral consultative commission set up under the New START] that we have presented our new systems, including hypersonic weapons. We consider that the Avangard and Sarmat systems are covered by the treaty. We are ready to include these weapons and systems in the current New START (when it is extended)," Lavrov stressed.

"We have already presented Avangard to the Americans and we will be ready to do the same with Sarmat at a certain stage," he noted.

However, other systems, which Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned in his address to the Federal Assembly in March 2018, are not covered by the New START. "We said that on these systems and on new US advanced military systems we are ready to hold a separate parallel dialogue. It should be certainly held as part of a discussion on a whole range of issues, which influences strategic stability," Lavrov stressed.

According to Lavrov, a treaty cannot cover all issues existing in strategic security because new technologies are developed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his last year’s annual address to the Federal Assembly that Russia was developing advanced weapon systems. This year, he continued this theme, saying that the serial production of Avangard missile systems had been launched in Russia. The Russian leader also announced about the successful pace of trials of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile with an unlimited range capability. As Putin said, the rearmament and the trials of new weapons are proceeding "rhythmically, without delays and in accordance with the plan.".