Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday signed into law the ratification of a landmark nuclear arms cut pact with the United States, a day after the Upper House of the Russian Parliament unanimously endorsed the pact.

The U.S. Senate ratified the New Start treaty last month.

The treaty limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and to 700 deployed carrier vehicles. It will enter into force after the two sides exchange the instruments of ratification. This is likely to happen during the February 4-6 Munich Security Conference to be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Russian diplomatic sources.

The ratification law approved by the Russian Parliament says Russia would pull out of the New Start if the U.S. deploys a global missile defence that will impair Russian security.

Speaking during the ratification debate Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia “will not cut a single missile or bomber” because it has a significantly smaller number of them than the treaty allows. In fact, Russia will have to deploy new missiles to catch up with the New Start ceilings.

“It is only by 2028 that we will reach the targets, including launch vehicles, set by the treaty,” said the Russian defence chief.

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