U.S. may rearm some strategic delivery vehicles reequipped under New START with up to 2,000 nuclear warheads - Ryabkov
MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) - The United States could potentially rearm some of its strategic delivery vehicles reequipped under the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (New START) with up to 2,000 nuclear warheads, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
"One of the major issues we are continuing to discuss with the Americans, including within the framework of the Bilateral Consultative Commission under the New START, is the so-called reequipment of some of their strategic delivery vehicles," Ryabkov said in an interview published in the journal International Affairs.
The U.S. "has reequipped a significant number of heavy bombers and ballistic launchers on submarines in such a way that we, Russia, the other party to the treaty, cannot verify that this reequipment is irreversible," he said.
"That is, strictly speaking, it appears that, in the worst-case scenario, the U.S. might carry out the opposite procedure and reinstall nuclear warheads on these bombers and load them into these silos. As a result, it turns out that if the Americans want to, they could quickly put up to 2,000 nuclear warheads back on these delivery vehicles," Ryabkov said.
"This is a big story, and it needs to be addressed. There's a relevant forum to that end: the Bilateral Consultative Commission under the New START," he said.
"We know how to solve this problem, and we have proposed solutions to the Americans. It's a matter of political will in the U.S.," Ryabkov said.