He said that press reports on achieved understandings between Russian Defence Minister Pavel Grachev and U.S. Defence Secretary William Perry concerning amendments to the document "presuppose attentive study of the essence of proposed changes by Russian legislative power." It is expedient to undertake an examination of American amendments, on making which the U.S. insisted since 1993. Podvig noted that proposals on making amendments are "based on a desire by the American side to continue work on designing ABM systems, the development and production of which are prohibited by the 1972 treaty.
"If the Russian side agrees to a revision of this document, the international community will lose the most efficient instrument to prevent the race of offensive and defensive weapons, which will inevitably upset strategic stability," the expert stressed.
Defending its interests in ensuring its national security, Russia, according to Podvig, cannot agree to emaciation of the ABM Treaty. Consequences of a change of this document will be quite different for the United States and Russia.
The U.S. will be able to strengthen its role of the dominating nuclear power. This idea was taken into account by the sides when they concluded agreements on cutting strategic nuclear arms.
"Our country had grounds at that time to connect observation of the ABM Treaty with its participation in disarmament," Podvig noted.
Suggested amendments, the expert said, "can look only as specification of treaty provisions. In real fact, the matter in question is the fate of one of the most effective agreements in the sphere of arms control."
"When debating a possibility of making amendments to the ABM Treaty, our legislators should take into account all possible consequences of such modification of the international agreement, vitally important for Russia," Podvig said.