Moscow hopes U.S. will ratify START treaty by year end

21:24, November 17, 2010      

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Russia expected the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) to be ratified by the U.S. Senate by the end of the year, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

"We expect that there is enough time for discussing a ratification package for the new START treaty and that voting will take place during the current session," Ryabkov was quoted by local media as saying.

After U.S Republican senator Jon Kyl said the document should not be ratified this year due to many unsolved questions over the treaty, including modernization, Ryabkov said Russia was hoping for the earliest completion of the ratification process in the U.S.

The minister also stressed the treaty could be a significant contribution to bilateral ties.

On Nov. 14, U.S. President Barack Obama told his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Yokohama, Japan, that getting the U.S. Senate to ratify the new START was a "top priority" for his administration.

The presidents of Russia and the U.S. signed the new START treaty on April 2010 in Prague. It replaced a previous treaty that expired in December 2009.

According to the agreement, the two sides are due to reduce their total number of nuclear weapons by one third and halve the number of strategic missiles.

Obama's administration is expected to face obstacles in working with a new Senate following recent elections.

Source: Xinhua


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