Moscow: Missile Cuts Dependent on Keeping ABM Treaty
Russia insisted Wednesday that reductions in offensive strategic weapons were conditional on maintaining the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty that Washington is preparing to abandon.
In talks with US Undersecretary of State for arms reductions John Bolton, Russia "stressed that eventual reductions in offensive strategic weapons are conditional on maintaining the ABM treaty in its present form," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Bolton, who arrived in Moscow on Saturday, was engaged for a second straight day in talks with his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov.
Since Monday he has been holding talks with Russian defense and foreign policy officials on Washington's plans to sideline the ABM treaty so that it can set up a missile defense shield.
Moscow has expressed firm opposition to abrogating the ABM treaty, which it sees as essential to global strategic security, but Washington is attempting to obtain Russian agreement, failing which it has said it will go ahead unilaterally.
Russia and the United States are also negotiating a further reduction in their strategic arsenals, with Moscow pushing to reduce levels to 1,500 warheads.
The Pentagon is currently reviewing its strategic defense requirements before providing figures on what it is prepared to offer.
However Washington intends in any event to make unilateral cuts, Bolton said earlier on Moscow Echo radio -- MOSCOW (AFP)
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