Russia to reveal nuclear stockpile data

The statement came just over a week after the US Department of Defence for the first time revealed top-secret data on its nuclear arsenals, saying the country's stockpile contained 5,113 nuclear warheads. "When the new arms reduction treaty, signed in Prague on April 8 by the Russian and US presidents, comes into force, we will also be able to consider on a practical level the issue of disclosing Russia's total number of deployed strategic delivery systems and the warheads attributed to them," Andrei Nesterenko said.

Commenting on the move by the US to unveil data on its nuclear arsenals, Nesterenko said "we consider that the step taken by Washington will increase transparency and contribute to the strengthening of trust between nuclear and non-nuclear powers". At a meeting in Prague in April, the two countries, which possess about 90 per cent of global nuclear arsenals, agreed to reduce the number of warheads to 1,550 on each side and the number of deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles to 800 on each side.

The new treaty, which is yet to be ratified by the Russian and US parliaments, replaces the START 1 treaty, the cornerstone of a post-Cold War arms control setup that expired December 5, 2009. Monday, US President Barack Obama revived a civil nuclear agreement with Russia by resubmitting it to the Congress, almost two years after Washington froze the deal following Russia's brief war with US ally Georgia over the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia in August 2008.

The agreement will open up possibilities for widespread commercial nuclear trade, technology exchange and joint nuclear research between Washington and Moscow. It will also clear the way for Russia to make headway in the profitable business of importing and storing spent nuclear fuel from US-supplied reactors.

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