MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russia will continue to be committed to the resgtrictions on strategic offensive weapons under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) as long as it is in force, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
"In order to maintain a sufficient degree of predictability and stability in the nuclear missile sphere, Russia will stick to the responsible approach and will continue to comply with the quantitative restrictions on strategic offensive weapons as long as the treaty is in force," it said.
The ministry stressed that Russia will continue to exchange notifications with the United States about ballistic missile launches. "The Russian side will continue to exchange notifications with the American side about launches of ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) on the basis of the corresponding agreement between the former Soviet Union and the United States of 1998," it said.
According to the ministry, Russia will keep a close eye on the actions of the United States and its allies "both in the area of strategic offensive weapons and in the area of international security and strategic stability in general and analyze these actions for possible harm to Russia’s interests."
In his State of the Nation Address delivered earlier on Tuesday, Putin announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty but is not withdrawing from it. The president stressed that before returning to the discussion of the extension of the New START Treaty, the Russian side wants to understand how the New START will take into account not only the United States’ arsenals but also stockpiles of other NATO nuclear powers, namely the United Kingdom and France.