START TREATY TURNS 10

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MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) continues to play a significant role in the system of international agreements on disarmament, the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department of information and press reads.

"It has turned 10 years when the START Treaty came into force on December 5, 1994," the statement reads. "The treaty, which envisages the reduction of strategic arms down 1,600 carriers for intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers and down to 6,000 warheads, continues to play a key-role in the system of international agreements on disarmament."

Besides Russia and the USA the participants in the treaty, which was first concluded as the Russian-American treaty following the collapse of the Soviet Union, are Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - the countries, which have strategic arms. The later three countries also joined the Agreement on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Arms.

Russia and the U.S. agreed that the provisions of the START Treaty would serve as a basis for provision of trust, openness and predictability for the further reduction of offensive strategic arms. Such reduction down to 1,700-2,200 nuclear warheads was envisaged by the signed between Russia and the U.S. Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed by the USA and the USSR in Moscow on July 31, 1991.

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