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Russian lawmakers studying treaty

US Senate altered arms pact terms

By Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press / December 24, 2010

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MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia yesterday welcomed the US Senate’s decision to ratify a US-Russian nuclear arms control treaty, but Russian legislators said they need to study agreements attached to the treaty before following suit.

Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said that when he signed the New START pact with President Obama, they agreed that the ratification process should be conducted simultaneously.

Timakova said Medvedev voiced hope that both houses of the Russian Parliament would ratify the pact, but she added they would need some time to analyze the Senate’s conditions for its ratification before making their decision.

New START, signed by Obama and Medvedev in April, would limit each country’s strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would reestablish a system for monitoring and verification, which ended last year with the expiration of a previous arms control deal.

Legislators in the Kremlin-controlled Parliament had said before the Senate ratification vote on Wednesday that they would approve the treaty quickly.

Lower house speaker Boris Gryzlov, however, said yesterday that the Senate’s ratification resolution contained some conditions and the legislators need to carefully study the text before making a decision.

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