Presidents of Russia and the USA declare intention to reduce strategic offensive potentials

Russia and the USA declare their intention to reduce their strategic offensive potentials to a minimal level capable of ensuring national security, fulfilling allied commitments, and reflecting the new character of their relationship in the strategic sphere, reads a Joint Declaration of New Strategic Relations between two countries that the presidents of Russia and the USA signed on Friday.

The document identifies conclusion of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Strategic Offensive Reductions as a prominent step in this direction.

According to the Declaration, both sides assume that the Treaty reached between the USSR and the USA on July 31st, 1991 on Strategic Arms Reduction remains in force as stipulated by its provisions, which will serve "as a basis for ensuring trust, openness and predictability in the process of further reduction of strategic offensive potentials and additional measures that are subject to conciliation, including measures to ensure openness." Russia and the USA admit that the current security situation is radically different from that during the "cold war" period. With that in mind, the sides have agreed to take certain measures to increase trust and ensure transparency of anti-missile defence, i.e. to exchange information on anti-missile programs and tests in this sphere and arrange mutual visits with the purpose of attending anti-missile tests and viewing each other's anti-missile systems. Apart from that, Russia and the USA are planning to set up a Joint Center responsible for keeping all information about each other's early warning systems.

Simultaneously, Moscow and Washington acting in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council will study the opportunities for stepping up practical cooperation in an effort to create an anti-missile defence system in Europe.

Russia and the USA have also agreed that their new strategic relations, which are based on mutual safety, trust, openness, cooperation and predictability, require a series of "consultations on a wide range of issues dealing with international security." With this purpose, the heads of the two states have decided to set up a Consultative Group on Strategic Security headed by foreign and defence ministers of Russia and the USA and consisting of high-ranking officials. The Group in question is responsible for increasing mutual trust, ensuring transparency, exchanging information and plans, and discussing strategic issues of mutual interest.

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