Russia: April 19, 2000


The Russian parliament ratified the START-II treaty on 14 April, agreeing to cut the Russian nuclear arsenal to 3,500 deployed warheads. (Technically, the US Senate still has to approve Russian changes to the treaty extending until 2007 the time Russia has to cut its arsenal.) President Putin said he was ready to begin work on START-III, and wanted a cut to 1,500 nuclear warheads under that deal. Putin also warned, however, that if the US violates or abrogates the 1972 ABM Treaty, Russia will cancel all of the START treaties and begin deploying as many nuclear weapons as possible in order to maintain deterrence by having the ability to overwhelm any plausible defense. --Stephen V Cole


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