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Russia ex-defense minister calls for multinational arms control agreements

[JURIST] Bilateral arms control agreements negotiated by the US and Russia during the Cold War should be replaced by multilateral agreements, former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov [GlobalSecurity profile] said Sunday. Ivanov, who now serves as Russian first deputy prime minister, referred to bilateral agreements, including the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (Salt 1) [text], as relics of the past that failed to contemplate the rise and relevance of other nuclear powers. Speaking at the 44th annual Munich Conference on Security Policy [official website], Ivanov suggested that the reduction of strategic weapons should move to the multilateral level as more countries obtain nuclear weapons.

Late last year, Russian officials said that the country wants to replace [JURIST report] the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [text] with a formal, binding agreement with the US that will limit the creation of new nuclear weapons. A few days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a measure [JURIST report] suspending Russia's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) [text; backgrounder]. The Russian government first threatened to withdraw from the CFE amid tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for an anti-missile defense shield in central Europe, which Russia perceives to be a threat to Russian national security. Putin has also threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty [text] unless that treaty is expanded to include neighboring countries such as China, India and Pakistan. AP has more.

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