Russia Reaffirms Stand on Defending ABM Treaty

Russia reaffirmed Sunday its stand on supporting and strengthening the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty after the United States successfully intercepted a mock nuclear warhead in a test.

The U.S. on Saturday carried out one more test, the fourth of its kind, to destroy the warhead of an intercontinental ballistic missile as part of its plan to create a multipurpose national missile defense system. The test is reportedly successful with the attack missile shot down.

"The question arises again: Why should the entire architecture of agreements in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, and its corner stone -- the 1972 ABM treaty, be put under threat?", said Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Alexander Yakovenko.

He told reporters Moscow is open "for an early and substantive dialogue with the U.S. on the strategic arms reduction treaty (START) and ABM problems and other aspects of Russian-American strategic contacts, on the basis of the understandings reached by Russian and U.S. presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush in Ljubljana."

(Xinhua News Agency 07/16/2001)

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