The Russian Defence Ministry believes it too early to refrain from control and verification of strategic offensive weapons reductions, Valentin Kuznetsov, head of the international contractual division of the Main International Military Cooperation Department, told journalists on Wednesday. According to him, "Russia and the USA have developed a very large mechanism in the field of control and verification of issues of strategic arms reductions, and, therefore, it would be wrong to refrain from it." Commenting on the number of warheads Russia and the USA should have to ensure both nations' security and referring to that of 2,000 voiced by President George Bush, Admiral Kuznetsov opined that "such a number of warheads is too large." "We should ask why do we need that many warheads if after 500 warheads explode nothing will be left of the planet," the admiral stressed. He recalled that last year Russian President Vladimir Putin had voiced the initiative to proceed with nuclear disarmament and cut the number of warheads in Russia and the USA to 1,500 and less.
Military expert Vladimir Orlov expressed the opinion that the Pentagon is preparing to strike at least four Russian regions.