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  • Position : Deputy Minister
  • Affiliation : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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Anatoly I. Antonov

One of the burning issues during the United States and Russian negotiations of the New START treaty was the issue of non-nuclear strategic offensive arms, which we sometimes call strategic offensive arms in non-nuclear configuration. In our work, we are going to adhere to the interpretation of these arms as provided for the new treaty. What does this mean? Any kind of ballistic missile – missiles, ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) – with non-nuclear warheads. Although considered strategic offensive arms, heavy bombers do not pose such a serious threat in the context of the issues under consideration due to a number of peculiarities of their use. It would be wrong to say that the issue of SOANNC came as a surprise for Russian negotiators during work on the New START treaty, for it had not been there before. It is important to point out that the New START treaty, as well as START I, is a treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. It is not a coincidence that the word “nuclear” is not here. It is not an omission on the part of the delegations, but the result of an uneasy compromise with the United States that has always tended to have new arrangements which would not relate to so-called conventional arms nor cover SOANNC, but would apply only to nuclear weapons.

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Joint meeting of members of the Centre russe d’etudes politiques and the Trialogue Club International. April 24, 2013, Geneva, Switzerland