Medvedev signs new START ratification document

Friday, January 28, 2011

Moscow, Jan 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the ratification documents of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the US Friday.

Medvedev, after signing on the ratification forms, said the Russian-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty could come into force in early February.

The new arms reduction accord, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Medvedev and Barack Obama in Prague in April 2010.

The document slashes the Russian and US nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

The treaty will formally come into force after the exchange of ratification documents, which is due to take place at the upcoming meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers, RIA Novosti reported the Russian president as saying Friday.

“I have discussed this with the president of the United States,” Medvedev said, adding that the exchange of the instruments will take place during a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The meeting could take place in Munich Feb 4-5.

Medvedev said the new treaty will define parameters for strategic nuclear arms reductions over the next decade.

“After that, a new decision will need to be made, but that is a different story,” he said.

The Russian president reiterated his country’s position on missile defence, adding work on it would continue even after the new START treaty comes into effect.

Moscow is currently in talks with NATO on building a joint missile defence shield in Europe.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate in the creation of the European missile defense system in Lisbon in last November. The parties agreed to formulate terms for missile defence cooperation by June 2011.

The Russian Parliament ratified the new START treaty Wednesday.

The US Senate ratified the deal Dec 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up US global missile defences.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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