The main outcome of the talks between presidents of Russia and the United States is the confidence that strategic stability, and in particular, the ABM Treaty, will be preserved, said Valery Manilov, a member of the Security and Defence Committee in the Federation Council and the former first deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Mr. Manilov spoke at a briefing in the Federation Council on Friday. The parliamentarian stressed that these issues "were the main focus of the summit; and they were considered in an equal dialogue as a single integral matter." In Mr. Manilov's opinion, the future of missile defence is interconnected with strategic offensive arms treaties. This interconnection is a "balanced system," and the liquidation of the ABM treaty would inevitably lead to "a spontaneous and snowballing arms race." Speaking on the U.S. stance on this issue, the parliamentarian mentioned that the Russian president's proposals on "simultaneous and deep" cuts in strategic offensive weapons generated a positive reaction from Russia's main counterpart in this area. This gives us hope that strategic stability, and in particular, the ABM Treaty, will be preserved, Mr. Manilov emphasised.
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