Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the USA was productive, Dmitry Rogozin, the Head of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, told journalists on Friday. According to him, the visit was significant from the political, economic and publicity point of view. Speaking about the agreement to reduce the number of strategic offensive weapons, Rogozin stated that cutting nuclear warheads by 66.7 per cent was an appropriate step. "We must spend on defence as much as is vital for quaranteeing its effectiveness," the deputy said. Rogozin beleives that 1,500-2000 nuclear warheads are more than enough as far as Russia is concerned. If the Americans agree to this reduction it will be a great achievement for Russia, he said. However Rogozin pointed out that there are still some contradictions as regards the NMD issue because "the Americans still consider that technical construction of an effective nuclear missile defence system is possible". According to Rogozin, "this is highly unlikely because the NMD system cannot be tested, therefore such a system cannot be effective." Speaking about the economic outcome of Vladimir Putin's visit to the USA, Dmitry Rogozin suggested that such "follies and misunderstandings" as "the Jackson-Vanik amendment" will become a thing of the past". The deputy expressed his hopes that US Congress will amend the legislation to remove the discriminating measues on Russian exports at the beginning of 2002. As for the importance of the Russian President's visit to the USA from the publicity point of view, Vladimir Putin managed to improve the US attitude to Russia, Dmitry Rogozin said.
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