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Russia, USA Can Discuss Tactical Nukes Only From Equal Positions — Lavrov
Interfax - 4.19.12 - JRL 2012-73

Brussels, 19 April: A reciprocal reduction of tactical nuclear weapons of Russia and the United States can be discussed only after Washington returns this type of weapons from Europe back to its territory and dismantles all the necessary infrastructure for its use, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

File Photo of U.S. Nuclear Bomb
file photo
"Unlike Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons, the American weapons are outside the US territory, and the appropriate infrastructure for its use remains in full readiness in the countries where they are deployed," he told a news conference following a ministerial session of the Russia-NATO Council.

"Therefore, even to begin talks at some point, it is necessary to first equalize the positions: Take these weapons to the territory of the owner country, dismantle the infrastructure, and then one can approach this subject (a reduction of tactical nuclear weapons - Interfax) in the context of overall strategic stability," Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, this topic was discussed at the meeting, and Moscow's position was heard.

Commenting on the prospects for the reduction of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, the Russian minister pointed out a number of factors that, in his opinion, influence the progress of negotiations on this problem.

"It is very important to take into account what era we live in - an era of globalization, when everything is interconnected, when new technologies appear every day and every hour, when more and more factors appear that influence strategic stability," Lavrov noted.

According to him, this stability is influenced by multitude of factors. "These are nuclear offensive weapons, and strategic defensive weapons - the missile defence system, and new strategic weapons, which the USA is making now with non-nuclear charges, and plans to deploy weapons in space," the minister stressed.

He also pointed out "very large imbalances in conventional weapons in Europe, which have taken place as a result of NATO's categorical refusal to ratify the adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe".

Therefore, "it is very difficult to approach any of these problems out of the rest of the context", Lavrov believes.

Keywords: Russia, Nuclear Issues -