Russia, US start consultations on extending START treaty — diplomat

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HELSINKI, September 12./TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the issue of extending the START-III treaty was discussed at his consultations with US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon.

"Yes, we have launched these consultations," he confirmed answering the question about discussion on extending the treaty. "It is good that this conversation proceeds not in general phrases, not at the level of repeating familiar approaches, but focuses on specifics of the current moment," Ryabkov said.

The senior diplomat explained that this also implies discussion of prospects for attaining the binding for the two countries levels of delivery vehicles stated by the treaty by the term fixed in the treaty (February 5, 2018).

"We also discussed some technical moments related to the implementation of the treaty," Ryabkov said. "A next session of the bilateral consultative commission will be held in the foreseeable future," he added.

"We have an understanding that there can be no deviations from requirements of the treaty. During contacts in Helsinki we could see that the American side approaches this task very seriously and with responsibility," he added.

The then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama in 2010 put signatures to the START III treaty, envisaging reduction of nuclear warheads to 1,550 and of the intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable heavy bombers to 700.