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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Other nuclear powers may join Russian-U.S. arms treaty - lawmaker

RIA Novosti

15:5827/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Other nuclear states could accede to a new Russian-U.S. strategic arms treaty, a Russian lawmaker said on Thursday.

The new arms treaty, signed on April 8 in Prague, replaces the 1991 pact that expired in December. The deal is expected to bring Moscow and Washington to a new level of cooperation in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control.

"The START Treaty means that the two chief nuclear powers are pooling their efforts in the struggle against the proliferation of nuclear weapons while the consistent development of this line presupposes that other members of the nuclear club join the Treaty," said Mikhail Margelov, head of the upper house's international relations committee.

He added, however, that Russian and U.S. nuclear capabilities were incomparable with those in other countries, some of which regard nuclear weapons as "a last resort."

The U.S. and Russian presidents earlier agreed that the ratification processes should be simultaneous.

The treaty stipulates that the number of nuclear warheads be reduced to 1,550 on each side over seven years, while the number of delivery vehicles, both deployed and non-deployed, must not exceed 800.

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