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Talking on the phone
Medvedev and Obama agree on new strategic arms treaty
March 26, 2010 - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama, today agreed upon a new strategic arms treaty, which will replace the START Treaty of 1991.
The presidents will sign the new treaty in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 8, 2010. Both the American Senate and the Russian Doema need to ratify the treaty.
Below the press release by the Kremlin and the factsheet issued by the White house.
March 26, 2010
Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama will meet in Prague to sign a new strategic arms reduction treaty.
Speaking today by telephone, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama agreed to meet in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 8, 2010, to sign a treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on strategic arms limitations and reductions.
Mr Medvedev said that the draft treaty reflects the balance of interests on both sides and noted that, though the negotiation process was not always easy, the negotiators’ constructive mindset made it possible to achieve a tremendous result in a short time and produce a document ready for signature.
The two presidents thanked each other for the work accomplished. Once they have signed the document, the main task will be for their respective countries to ratify the new treaty, they said.
The two leaders agreed to also discuss bilateral cooperation and current international issues at their meeting in Prague.
* * *
This treaty will replace the START Treaty of 1991 which expired on December 4, 2009, and the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (Moscow Treaty) of May 24, 2002, between the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
The START Treaty of 1991 played a significant role in ensuring global peace, strategic stability and security and served as a foundation to create a qualitatively new atmosphere of trust, openness, and predictability in the strategic offensive arms reduction process.
This approach and the experience gained in carrying out the 1991 treaty were fully taken into account when formulating the new treaty while at the same time, some elements from an earlier historic era needed to be adapted to the contemporary realities.
The START Treaty’s historic role would not have been fully accomplished without the significant efforts made by Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine to implement it and to carry out all the obligations taken on under the Lisbon Protocol of 1992. These nations made the responsible choice to agree on a withdrawal of nuclear arms from their territories and join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as states that do not possess nuclear weapons. This improved their security and had a favourable effect on overall strategic stability.
The new treaty was drawn up in accordance with instructions from President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, as well as joint Russian-American statements and documents on strategic arms reductions accepted at the highest level during the April 1, 2009 meeting in London and the July 6, 2009 summit in Moscow. The treaty specifies the following limits for nuclear arms in Russia and the United States:
– 1,550 deployed warheads for each nation, i.e. about 30% lower than the previous warhead limit under the Moscow Treaty;
– 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers, i.e. more than two times lower than the levels allowed in the previous START treaty;
– 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers.
The treaty also provides that each party has the right to independently determine the composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms.
The new treaty contains provisions regarding definitions, data exchanges, notifications, strategic arms re-equipment and destruction, inspections and verification procedures, as well as confidence-building measures.
The verification mechanism in the new treaty will be simpler and less expensive than that in the old START Treaty, while ensuring irreversibility, verifiability, and transparency for the process of strategic arms reductions with the same efficiency as before.
The provisions on the interrelation between strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms, as well as on the growing significance of such interrelation in the process of strategic arms reduction, will be set in a legally-binding format.
The treaty will state that even ICBMs and SLBMs carrying no nuclear warheads may affect strategic stability. The treaty provides that all strategic offensive arms will be based solely within the national territory of each party. A new executive body – the Bilateral Advisory Committee – will be formed to promote the purposes and provisions of the new treaty.
The term of the treaty will be ten years, unless superseded earlier by a subsequent agreement on reducing and limiting strategic offensive arms.
During the telephone conversation, both presidents expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of the negotiation process as the parties were able to achieve the key task of agreeing on how to make real reductions in strategic offensive arms, while maintaining parity and observing the principle of equal and indivisible security.
The two presidents agreed that the new treaty marks a transition in the two nations’ interactions to a higher level in developing new strategic relations and will serve as evidence of the commitment by Russia and the United States, the world’s largest nuclear powers, to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals in accordance with the spirit and letter of the NPT.
As they move toward greater disarmament, both nations see their ultimate goal as creating a world without nuclear weapons. The significant input of the new treaty to strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament should also increase trust not merely between its parties, but more broadly among nuclear and non-nuclear NPT member-states.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2010
Key Facts about the New START Treaty
Treaty Structure: The New START Treaty is organized in three tiers of increasing level of detail. The first tier is the Treaty text itself. The second tier consists of a Protocol to the Treaty, which contains additional rights and obligations associated with Treaty provisions. The basic rights and obligations are contained in these two documents. The third tier consists of Technical Annexes to the Protocol. All three tiers will be legally binding. The Protocol and Annexes will be integral parts of the Treaty and thus submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
Strategic Offensive Reductions: Under the Treaty, the U.S. and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force. Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty. These limits are based on a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.
* 1,550 warheads. Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.
o This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
* A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
* A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.
o This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty.
Verification and Transparency: The Treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the Treaty. Measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring. To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry.
Treaty Terms: The Treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. The Parties may agree to extend the Treaty for a period of no more than five years. The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements. The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the New START Treaty. The U.S. Senate and the Russian legislature must approve the Treaty before it can enter into force.
No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.
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