Russian VP summarizes Munich Security Conference results
"The New START Treaty entering into force has become the main result of the 47th Munich Security Conference," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters on Sunday.
"Given that Russia and the United States currently possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear arsenal, the New START arms-reduction pact’s coming into force was hailed by all the participants of the Munich gathering. The document stipulates significant cuts in both sides’ nuclear arsenals, but will not affect the development of strategic components of their armed forces," Ivanov pointed out.
"This treaty does not envision any duties on Russia except the necessity of observing the limits it stipulates," Ivanov said. "Russia, like the United States, reserves the right to continue to develop its strategic forces in the future." "In this regard," Ivanov adds, "the New START Treaty slaps no restrictions on the two sides’ strategic offensive arms levels."
"The plans we earlier mapped out to develop the strategic component of the armed forces remain in full force," Ivanov said.
"We will continue to develop the Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile and the Yars RS-24 missiles, among other sophisticated weaponry," Ivanov says. "The United States is all but sure to respond in kind and this is only natural, he points out, stressing the importance of developing the strategic offensive arms.
"Also high on the agenda of the Munich Security Conference was a Russian-NATO cooperation in Afghanistan," which Ivanov said should turn into a safer place to live in.
"Russia is concerned about the ongoing political standoff in Afghanistan," Ivanov says, citing the Taliban’s ever-increasing clout in this South Asian country’s northern provinces. "The past few years have seen a close cooperation on the issue between NATO and Russia, which currently continues to contribute to NATO’s logistical support in Afghanistan. The move is fully in line with Moscow’s previous decision to okay the alliance’s air and railway transportation of non-lethal supplies to Afghanistan through Russian territory. Separately, Moscow helps NATO to resolve the Afghan drug trafficking by specifically training Afghan anti-narcotics officers," Ivanov goes on to say.
"Russia is greatly interested in a more peaceful Afghanistan," Ivanov said, separately remaining downbeat about the early withdrawal of US troops from there, which he said is unlikely to see the light of day before the end of this year…