No money for implementation

Publish date: April 17, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

State Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznev told Interfax on April 14 the ratification of the START-2 treaty would be debated before the end of the spring session in June. Critics claim Russia would not be able to cope with dismantling its stockpile of weapons it has to get rid of under Start-2.

Gennadiy Seleznev, speaker of the Russian State Duma, told Interfax the uncertainty over the new Russian Prime Minister and government would not affect the scheduled debate of the START-2 treaty ratification. This issue is to be considered by the State Duma before June.

In the beginning of April, Igor Sergeev, Russia’s defence minister, met with Duma members in an attempt to gain support for the treaty. Sergeev told news agencies after the meeting that "from the military point of view the ratification is urgently necessary". Sergeev added "The treaty is beneficial for Russia."

On the other hand, according to an opinion published in the Russian Segodnya newspaper, Russia would not be able to cope with the task of dismantling the weaponry stocks covered by START-2, if the Duma ratifies the agreement. According to the newspaper, Russia can hardly keep up with current nuclear weaponry reduction schedules, while START-2 assumes doubling of the work to be done.

The U.S. foots the bill for half of Russia’s nuclear disarmament. The budgets allocated from the Russian side are squeezed to a minimum.