When the USA withdraws from the ABM treaty, Russia will receive full freedom of action in determining the number of warheads on its ballistic missiles, said chairman of the Federation Council's (the upper house of parliament) international affairs committee Mikhail Margelov. According to him, Russia will be able to correct the grave mistake made by the previous leaders who agreed to liquidate the country's most efficient missile complexes. Margelov stressed that Russia did not receive "any clear-cut substantiation" of the existence of real threats which make the USA withdraw from the ABM treaty. At the same time the senator recalled that in a joint statement on new relations between Russia and the USA made in Washington last November, the sides declared their agreement to continue consultations, within the framework of new relations, on strategic defence and the ABM treaty. Since nobody refuted this statement it is to be hoped that during the six months which will precede the withdrawal from the treaty, the US administration will find a possibility to confirm that this step is not aimed at achieving unilateral advantages in violation of the existing balance of interests, Margelov said.
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