Russia Hails U.S. Ratification of Nuclear-Arms Reduction Treaty

Russia hailed the U.S. ratification of a nuclear-arms reduction treaty between the two countries, promising swift passage through the Russian parliament.

“The ratification, the entering into force of this treaty, will have a positive impact on the global geostrategic climate,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Sazonov told reporters today in Moscow. “It’s a confirmation that we are finding a common language with the U.S. on the most difficult questions, including nuclear and strategic” matters.

Russia’s lower house of parliament may ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty as early as tomorrow, if U.S. senators who approved the agreement yesterday didn’t introduce any amendments, Boris Gryzlov, the chamber’s speaker, said on TV Rossiya 24.

When Russia receives an official version of the document, “we’ll take a decision about how we will proceed on the ratification of this agreement,” Gryzlov said.

The upper house, the Federation Council, could examine the treaty tomorrow if it is approved by the State Duma lower chamber, ITAR-TASS reported, citing senate speaker Sergei Mironov. Both houses of parliament need to approve the treaty.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed the accord in April as part of a push to improve relations between the two former Cold War rivals and reduce the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The treaty, replacing an agreement that expired last December, limits each side’s strategic warheads to no more than 1,550, from 2,200 allowed previously, and sets a maximum of 800 land-, air- and sea-based launchers.

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