MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. There is a need to maintain New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) in order to ensure global peace and security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s statement that the Treaty was unlikely to be extended.
"We have taken note of this statement. Our position is no secret: we believe that the Treaty must be extended in order to ensure global peace and security," Ryabkov pointed out.
According to him, before extending the Treaty, the parties need to address an issue that arose after the United States had removed certain launchers from its accountability under the Treaty, declaring them as converted. "In our view, such manipulations are unacceptable. Resolving the issue requires political will," the senior Russian diplomat added. "We clarified technical ways to resolve it, the Americans know about them. And there is still enough time to do it before the Treaty expires," he noted.
"However, when Washington makes such statements, it cannot but cause concern," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
New START, which came into force in 2011, limits Russia and the US to no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, no more than 1,550 deployed warheads and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers.
The Treaty is set to remain in effect for ten years (until 2021) unless a new document is signed to replace it. The document can also be extended for no more than five years (that is, until 2026) by mutual agreement of the parties.