Address of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev on the conclusion of an accord with the USA to Replace the START Treaty
“On December 5, the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms – the START Treaty – will expire. The importance of this instrument for ensuring international peace and stability can hardly be overestimated. It played a historic role in ensuring strategic stability and security and in reducing the arsenals of strategic offensive arms. As a result of its implementation the world became more secure.
“Today, we are facing a pressing need to move further along the road of nuclear disarmament. In accordance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons Russia is fully committed to reaching the goal of a world free from these most deadly weapons.
“As early as 2005 we proposed to the USA that a new agreement should be concluded to replace the START Treaty. It could be based on all that is best and effectively working in the present Treaty, but at the same reflect present-day strategic realities.
“In taking this decision, we considered, inter alia, the fact that the limits set by the Start Treaty were reached way back in 2001. The number of strategic carriers and warheads assigned to them is significantly less at present. Thus, the START Treaty currently not only does not limit Russia and the USA in the nuclear-missile sphere, but actually makes it possible to build up the quantity of strategic offensive arms.
“Our approach to that agreement is as follows. A future agreement should be legally binding. It is of no less importance that the instrument should be forward-looking - and should limit not only warheads, but also strategic delivery vehicles, i.e. intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers.
“We also deem it necessary to exclude possible deployment of strategic offensive arms outside national territories.
“I will emphasize – Russia is open to dialogue and is prepared for negotiations with the new United States Administration. I fully share the commitment of US President Barack Obama to the noble goal of ridding the world of the nuclear threat and see here fertile ground for joint work.
“I believe that constructive cooperation in this area will contribute to the overall improvement of Russian-American relations.