Comment by the Information and Press Department on statements regarding New START Treaty made by a US State Department official
We have taken note of statements on the Russian-US New START Treaty made by US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference held on March 11. She reportedly said that the United States still had two years to take a decision on the extension of this treaty.
We would like to remind our American colleagues that the extension of the New START Treaty is not a mere formality that will take several weeks or even days, as they want the public to believe. Before the parties start discussing this possibility, the United States must fulfil all its obligations under the treaty, reducing its strategic offensive arms to the limits set out in the treaty.
We have to say that although Washington claims to have done so, in actual fact it only achieved the reduction levels by juggling figures. It has achieved the agreed reduction levels not only by reducing arms but also through the illegal and unilateral reclassification of about a hundred strategic offensive systems. That is a serious problem, which must be settled before any discussions on the extension of the treaty are held.
For the fourth year now Russia has been working consistently with its American counterparts to settle this problem, which is growing in scale as the treaty is approaching its expiry. But the Americans are playing for time, avoiding a concrete discussion on this matter.
We sincerely hope that Washington will eventually see the huge scope of the problem with New START and will take measures to ensure the viability of this crucial international treaty on the reduction and limitation of nuclear missile systems.