WASHINGTON, 17 Feb – RIA Novosti. The extension of the START-3 treaty between Russia and the United States and subsequent negotiations give the parties the opportunity to reduce their strategic arsenals by another third, as well as discuss the inclusion of hypersonic and non-strategic nuclear weapons in the arms control system, former US diplomat Howard Stoffer told RIA Novosti.
Stoffer worked in various positions in the State Department from 1980-2005, then held senior posts in the UN Security Council for seven years. “I think it is possible to continue trying to find a way to make (the treaty) more comprehensive in the future. I think the verification procedures probably won't have to change that much, but they will be necessary for the next steps – maybe in order to explore the possibility of reducing (weapons) by one third, “Stoffer said. According to him, the parties have already informally discussed such a possibility.
“I think that further steps to be discussed will include offensive anti-missiles,” he said.
In addition, the expert believes, it is necessary to study the approach to non-strategic nuclear weapons, which are not limited by START-3.
Stoffer also said that he considers it necessary to discuss and control over hypersonic weapons.
“I think that hypersonic weapons need to be included (in future treaties). This weapon does nothing but reduce the warning time,” Stoffer explained.
He also believes that it was a mistake on the part of the United States to withdraw from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty), since a lot of work was invested in it.
“There are accusations from the US that Russia violated the treaty … but there must be a way to ban these weapons and bring the treaty back into effect,” Stoffer said. Russia has in the past denied US charges of violating the INF Treaty.