MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. The US-proposed conditions for extension of the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START treaty) are unilateral, do not take Russia’s interests into account and will lead to the ‘death’ of the agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.
"Unfortunately, this trend is holding rather firm. It [the US] quit UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council and withdrew from almost all treaties. It is the last strategic offensive arms agreement that will die now because the conditions it put forward are completely unilateral and take into account neither our interests nor experience of many decades when arms control was carried out to universal satisfaction and was welcomed by all countries in the world," he said.
Lavrov did not rule out the possibility that Washington will next pull out of the WTO. "It was also critical of it and, as far as I understand, is still stonewalling the [WTO] Dispute Settlement Body’s operation by blocking appointment of the members necessary to achieve quorum," the minister noted.
Moscow and Washington signed the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms in 2010. Under its terms, either country must reduce its strategic offensive arms in such a way that at the end of the seventh year following its entry into force and later on their overall amounts should not exceed 700 units of deployed inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers, 1,550 warheads and 800 operational and non-operational missile launchers and strategic bombers.
The treaty was concluded for a period of ten years (until February 5, 2021). It can be replaced by a follow-up agreement before the deadline expires, or prolonged for no more than five years (until 2026) by mutual consent.
Moscow urges Washington to refrain from procrastinating on the treaty’s extension, because in its opinion it is the "gold standard" in the field of disarmament.