U.S. again calls for Russian START-2 ratification

Publish date: March 20, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The White House said last week it wanted Russia's parliament to ratify the START-2 agreement before the next U.S.-Russian summit planned for summer this year, reported Reuters. The State Duma reacted negatively.

One of the key ingredients of (the) next summit meeting will be to build on our overall proliferation and arms control agenda and that certainly includes spelling out in greater detail and beginning the work on START-3. That can’t happen until START-2 is ratified by the Duma, quoted Reuters White House spokesman Mike McCurry.

The reaction from the State Duma was similar to the one pronounced earlier this year: the Russian parliament may consider the issue of ratification in the first part of 1998, giving no guarantee ratification will actually occur.

The START-II agreement, the acronym for the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, was signed by the two presidents in January 1993, but only the U.S. Senate has ratified it so far. The treaty calls for reduction of the Russian nuclear strategic arsenal, down to 3250 nuclear warheads. In March 1997, the two presidents, at their meeting in Helsinki, agreed to prolong the time period for the dismantling operations from 2003 until December 31, 2007.

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