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4 Aug, 2009 07:20

Russian nuclear leftovers total 3,906 warheads

The Defense Ministry has revealed that Russian armed forces have 3.906 nuclear warheads and 811 delivery systems at the moment.

The numbers were voiced by the deputy head of the National Center for Nuclear Threat Reduction, a structure in the Defense Ministry responsible for the reduction of strategic arms in accordance with international treaties.

Colonel Sergey Ryzhkov told Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper that since July 31, 1991, when the START agreement was signed by the US and the then Soviet Union, the Russian nuclear stockpile dropped more than twofold from 8,757 warheads. The number of missiles capable of nuclear warhead delivery was reduced almost threefold from 2,288 in 1991 to 811 today.

The American military had 10,563 warheads and 2,246 missiles in 1991, and now they have 5,573 warheads and 1,195 missiles, the colonel added.

Since the 1991 START agreement, Russian military specialists have made 464 inspections of US nuclear sites, while Americans have made 559 inspections on Russian territory. Ryzhkov said both sides worked in accordance with the spirit of START and the progress they made in nuclear reduction helped build stability in the world and brought a sense of predictability in bilateral relations.

Earlier on July 6, Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama signed a protocol on the principles of further nuclear weapons reduction as a basis of a new treaty to replace START when it expires later this year. The goal is for both sides to have 500 to 1,100 strategic delivery systems and 1,500 to 1,675 warheads in seven years after the new treaty is ratified.