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Russia to safeguard its security by all available means, senior diplomat says

Sergei Ryabkov also said that the New START Treaty has to be extended to win time for discussing further steps

MOSCOW, June 11. /TASS/. In the context of NATO’s activity in the Euro-Atlantic area Russia will take care of its security by all available means, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the 5th international forum Primakov Readings on Tuesday.

"As far as a new Helsinki process is concerned, during the previous one several attempts were made to solve the equation of pan-European security by creating a model and treaty of European security above the barriers and division lines," he said. "Russia proposed a draft of such a document. Everything was rejected."

"Our NATO neighbors have been saying, first somewhat shyly and euphemistically, and then quite openly, now in their official documents that indivisible security can be only trans-Atlantic and only for the alliance itself," Ryabkov said. "I believe that we will no longer find at any place, including Moscow, any traces of the original enthusiasm and the wish to look at life through rose-colored glasses and hope for the better."

"For this reason we will take care of our own security by all available means, without yielding to any illusions like the Helsinki-2 phantom," Ryabkov said.

New START has to be extended

The Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the new START Treaty) needs to be extended at least to win time for approving further steps in the sphere of arms control, Ryabkov said.

"It is necessary to double efforts to keep the backbone, the foundation of what has served a good service over decades in strengthening international security and our national security. At least it is necessary to get concerned over the task of extending the New START Treaty for another five years so that there is time for profound discussions of a new configuration in this sphere," the high-ranking Russian diplomat stressed.

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 obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

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 possibility of prolonging the Treaty.