The new treaty, after coming into effect, will set limitations on nuclear arms for the next decade and define the outlines for balance and interaction between Russian and US strategic forces for the coming years, Mr Medvedev said.
Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the Council of Federation Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon.
I want to inform the Security Council members and all of our other colleagues and the public that I signed into law today the document ratifying the new START Treaty. This is a big event for the whole country taking into account the agreements that Russia and the United States have reached. The Americans have already completed this process, and now we have completed it too. The State Duma and Council of Federation examined the documents and made changes reasonably commensurate with the changes the American parliament made, symmetrical changes that address the concerns our deputies had over the way particular provisions in the treaty could be interpreted.
But these are the minor details. The big thing is that once the instruments of ratification have been exchanged, and this will happen quite soon (I understand that our foreign ministers, as I discussed with the President of the United States, will do this during one of the upcoming meetings between Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton), the treaty will come into force and will set the parameters for strategic offensive reductions over the next decade. Subsequent future agreements will be needed, but that is another story.
In any event, we, the Defence Ministry, and other services will follow this treaty’s provisions in our daily work. Overall, it sets the strategic balance and the parity in our forces for the coming years. We will work on other matters too, which I addressed in particular during my visit to Brussels and also during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon, including the European missile defence issue. We have made our proposals on this subject and whatever the case the moment will come when we will have to decide what steps to take depending on what response our proposals get from our NATO partners.