START ratification to go through complex procedure in Russian Duma

12:09, May 29, 2010      

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Russia's State Duma will closely study and analyze several aspects of the new Russian-U.S. Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, submitted by President Dmitry Medvedev for ratification on Friday, said a Russian lawmaker.

"The document has to go through a complex procedure of full-scale and deep evaluation," head of the International Committee of the lower house of the parliament, Konstantin Kosachyov, told the Interfax news agency.

Several parliamentary hearings and sessions of relevant committees were slated to be held in the State Duma.

"We also intend to consult the so-called group of wise men that consists of former Soviet and Russian ambassadors," Kosachyov noted.

He said that Duma deputies will hold a series of consultations "with representatives of corresponding government institutions, primarily the Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and possibly with other experts."

"We expect to work intensively throughout June to the end of the spring session and then resume work at the fall session at the beginning of September," Kosachyov said.

Also on Friday, Medvedev appointed Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as his representatives in the State Duma during the ratification process.

Under the new treaty signed between Moscow and Washington in April, the warheads held by the two nuclear superpowers will be reduced to 1,500, about 30 percent lower than the previous treaty's limitation. Strategic offensive weapons will be based solely on the national territories of Russia and the United States.

Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have agreed earlier that the ratification process should be underway simultaneously. The treaty must be ratified by both houses of the Russian parliament and by the U.S. Senate before it can take effect.

The widely hailed new pact is conducive to easing frustrated U.S.-Russian ties and pushing forward nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation process on a global scale.

Source: Xinhua


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