HELSINKI (Sputnik) — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Tuesday that Moscow and Washington agreed that it is necessary to comply with the commitments under the New START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).
"There is a general understanding that there should not and cannot be any deviations from the agreement's requirements, and all efforts necessary to guarantee the achievement of this goal will be undertaken. In the course of contacts in Helsinki we were able to ascertain that the US side approaches this task in a very serious and responsible way," Ryabkov told reporters after meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.Ryabkov also said that Moscow and Washington had begun expert consultations on the future of the START treaty.
"Yes, we have begun such consultations, it is one of the elements of the agenda," he said.
The New START Treaty between Russia and the United States entered into force on February 5, 2011. Both sides agreed under the treaty to decrease the number of deployed nuclear warheads of 1,550 and the number of deployed missiles and bombers to 700. The agreement is set to expire in 2021 and stipulates that the parties may agree to extend the treaty for a period of no more than five years.