Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov deems the statements, that the START Treaty to be signed during the Putin-Bush summit meeting is only decorative, are not serious. Ivanov said as much Friday to newsmen in Moscow. The foreign minister noted that during the on-going Russo-American negotiations a treaty was drafted to fix the number of warheads to be reached within the next ten years, a RIA Novosti correspondent said. According to the minister, at issue are 1,700-2,200 warheads, which is almost 50 percent less than under the START-I Treaty. "It is not sensible to talk about any decorative treaties," stressed Ivanov. "It will be a serious document symbolising a serious step toward control over nuclear arms," said the minister. He remarked that this will be "the first significant document to be signed by the US administration." The foreign minister announced that "preparations for the May summit in Moscow are in full swing." Plans call for adopting "a serious package of bilateral documents of vital importance for Russo-American relations and the entire world," Ivanov remarked. In his words, "the documents are ready for the most part to be signed."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969