In a hopeful sign after President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement about seeking a significant new arms reduction treaty earlier this month, Russian General Nikolai Makarov said that Russia was preparing to slash their nuclear arsenal “significantly” in the event the deal was reached.
Gen. Makarov said Russia might ultimately cut its nuclear arsenal “to levels lower than stipulated by the Moscow Treaty.” The Moscow, or Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) sought to bring the level of operationally deployed warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 each. Though the treaty went into force in 2003, neither side has fully implemented the reductions.
Makarov says that important calculations still need to be made, and that it was ultimately important to ensure that Washington was willing to reciprocate. President Obama has advocated ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and has spoken in the past in favor of massive cuts to the US arsenal.