MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Russia is ready to work with the United States on new strategic stability and arms control treaties, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with permanent members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday.
"Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], on your instruction we have been in quite intensive contact with our American colleagues on the entire range of strategic stability issues, in particular, we are stressing your initiative that remains in force and is becoming increasingly important on making a decision on extending the current New START Treaty [the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms], which expires in February, without any preconditions. Meanwhile, we confirm that we will be ready to continue work on new accords," Lavrov said.
"With your consent, we put forward specific proposals on developing a comprehensive approach towards strategic stability that were transferred to the US side. In response, the Americans gave us their proposals that were presented as preconditions of extending the New START Treaty. Moreover, these preconditions are quite numerous," the Russian foreign minister said.
The US side’s conditions were formulated outside the framework of the treaty and outside the framework of the parties’ competences, Lavrov said.
"To a certain extent, a critical situation has developed as I have already said that the treaty expires in early February. It expires, if there is no consent of both parties in compliance with the treaty-stipulated procedures on its extension. That is, in actual fact, the work on the treaty’s immediate extension without conditions unstipulated in it has actually not begun yet," Russia’s top diplomat said.
The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) was signed in 2010 and it entered into force on February 5, 2011.
The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers.
The New START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (i.e. until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent.
Moscow has numerously called on Washington not to delay the issue of the Treaty’s possible extension.