Over five years Russia cuts its nuclear strength by 1,740 warheads

Between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2005 Russia cut down its nuclear strategic forces by 357 delivery vehicles and 1,740 warheads, said Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak on Tuesday. He was speaking at the 7th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Review Conference. He emphasized that in the five years since the previous such conference Russia had fulfilled its obligations under START (strategic arms reduction treaty) agreements well ahead of schedule.

"By this moment in time Russia has reduced its non-strategic nuclear arsenals by four times," noted Kislyak. "On balance, compared with 1991, the overall inventories of nuclear arms have been cut back by more than five times."

Another important step towards nuclear disarmament, according to the deputy minister, is the Moscow Treaty concluded in 2002, under which Russia and the U.S. pledged within 10 years to reduce their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds - down to a ceiling of 1,700-2,200 warheads on each side.

"Our contribution to irreversible nuclear disarmament also includes a program to process 500 tons of highly enriched uranium extracted from Russian nuclear armaments," Kislyak added. He estimates that by the fall of this year 250 tons of uranium will have been processed, which is equivalent to scrapping several thousand warheads.

Russia, which suggested the non-proliferation treaty, is committed to strengthening its universal character, the deputy foreign minister emphasized.

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