Russia will continue to develop its missile defence system even after the Russian parliament upper house, the Federation Council, has ratified the new START treaty with the US, defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov has announced.

“As far as our missile defence system is concerned, we have been developing it and will be further developing it,” he said.

“For the next 10 years we have a programme on what amount of missiles will be placed on combat alert, but even then we will not reach the parameters stated in the treaty.”

Russia’s current number of nuclear weapons is higher than that permitted by the new treaty, according to RIA Novosti.