MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to prolong the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) at any moment, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual news conference on Thursday.
"You have mentioned one of the fundamentals, on which we should build our relations [with the United States]: these are the issues of global security, including the New START Treaty. We have made our proposals," the Russian leader pointed out.
"I have already spoken on this and want to repeat once again: "we are ready up to the end of the year to prolong the existing agreement, the New START Treaty. If they send it to us by mail tomorrow … or we are ready to sign it and send it to Washington where the respective head, including the president, should sign it. If they are ready," Putin stressed.
"However, there has been no response to all of our proposals so far," the Russian leader said.
If the New START Treaty also ceases to exist, "there will be nothing in the world that can restrain the arms race," Putin 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The New START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement.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 Treaty’s possible extension.