Feb 02 (KATAKAMI.COM / RIA NOVOSTI) —Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will exchange the instruments of ratification for the New START arms reduction pact in Munich on February 5, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The U.S. State Department confirmed February 5 as the date for the exchange, after which the pact will enter into force.
The new deal, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama in Prague in April 2010. The document cuts the Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.
“The document lays the foundation for qualitatively new relations between Russia and the United States in the military-strategic sphere, and contributes to a transition to a higher level of bilateral interaction in the spheres of disarmament and nonproliferation, as well as in strengthening mutual and global security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The U.S. Senate ratified the deal on December 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up U.S. global missile defenses.
Medvedev signed the ratification documents on Friday after both houses of the Russian parliament ratified the new treaty adding some provisions to the ratification document and issuing two supplementary statements to the resolution on the treaty ratification.
Clinton and Lavrov will be in the German city for the 47th Munich Security Conference, to be held February 4-6. The annual gathering brings together senior figures from around the world to engage in intensive debate on current and future security challenges. (*)