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Nukes Must Stay Within National Borders Says Russian Army Chief

by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Nov 12, 2007
Any new Russia-U.S. agreement on strategic weapons reduction must eliminate the possibility that nuclear weapons could be stationed outside national borders, chief of the Russian General Staff said. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-I) was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union on July 31, 1991, five months before the union collapsed, and remains in force between the U.S., Russia, and three other ex-Soviet states.

Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have since disposed of all their nuclear weapons or transferred them to Russia. And the U.S. and Russia have reduced the number of delivery vehicles to 1,600, with no more than 6,000 warheads. The treaty is due to expire on December 5, 2009.

"Russia deems it necessary to preserve certain provisions of the START treaty [in a new agreement]...especially those that limit the number of nuclear warheads and their delivery vehicles, and those that prohibit their deployment outside national borders," Gen. Yury Baluyevsky said in an interview with ATM, a Czech army journal, posted on the Defense Ministry's Web site.

The general said the new treaty should replace both the START treaty and the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), and ensure the future comparability and transparency of Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals.

He also said the new document should be legally binding and set up as an independent international legal act.

"The proposed approach would rule out agreements of a declarative nature and make the process of further limitations on strategic offensive weapons efficient and viable," Baluyevsky said.

Source: RIA Novosti

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