Putin reaffirms Russia's commitment to nuclear disarmament

Russia is open to new steps on nuclear disarmament, provided this happens on a mutual basis, with all factors taken into account, including the unilateral deployment by the United States of a global missile defense system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

The president sent a greeting to the attendees of the 20th congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which opened in Hiroshima on Friday.

Russia is committed to the course of nuclear disarmament, the president said in the message.

"Russia is open to new joint initiatives in this sphere. At the same time, obviously, implementation is only possible on a fair mutual basis and as long as all factors that affect international security and strategic stability are taken into account," the document said.

Such factors include "the unilateral and unrestricted deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, the threat of weapons deployment in space, the presence of quantitative and qualitative imbalances in conventional arms in Europe," Putin said.

Defending humankind against the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is rightly considered to be among the key issues on the global agenda, he said.

Russia is making a substantial contribution to attaining this noble goal, taking concrete, responsible steps aimed at reducing and restricting nuclear arms and strengthening the WMD non-proliferation regimes, the president said.

"Among the most important area is Russia's coherent compliance with its obligations under the U.S.-Russian treaty on further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons which came into effect in 2011," the message said.

"The implementation of its provisions demonstrates our commitment to the course of nuclear disarmament," Putin said.

Russia invariably supports a constructive dialogue with all political forces and public movements calling for reduction of the nuclear threat, he said. The text of the message has been posted on the Kremlin's website.

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