US intends to reduce 4,600 nuclear warheads

In the course of implementing the Russian-American Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, which provides for reducing the number of the operationally deployed nuclear warheads in the USA and Russia, the American military plan to reduce about 4,600 warheads.

This was stated by US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington on Tuesday, speaking in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee where the hearings began on the ratification of the SOR Treaty which was signed by Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush at the summit in Moscow.

However, Colin Powell said that he could speak only roughly about this figure of 4,600, because this matter is the competence of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The US Secretary of State reminded the committee that the Moscow treaty provides for the reduction of the number of the operationally deployed warheads to the level of from 1,700 to 2,000 on each side, but it leaves open the question concerning the number of the warheads being stored and eliminated; this will be determined by each side independently.

The Secretary of State underscored that the Americans need the stored warheads to use them as reserve ones when checking the service life of the armaments.

On Thursday, the hearings in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee concerning the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions will continue.

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