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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev calls for simultaneous ratification of new START treaty

RIA Novosti


PRAGUE, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and the United States should introduce the arms reduction treaty for ratification simultaneously, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, vowing that Moscow would not delay the process.

"We will naturally get ready very soon to initiate all the procedures for our parliament, our State Duma, to start considering the treaty. We must make sure the documents are introduced for ratification simultaneously so that neither country feels disadvantaged," Medvedev said at a press conference in Prague with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, after the two presidents signed the treaty.

The new START treaty, which replaces the 1991 pact that expired in December, is expected to bring Moscow and Washington to a new level of cooperation in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control. However, there are concerns its ratification could run into problems in the U.S. and Russian parliaments.

"In our history, especially if we take the Soviet era, there were cases when one state ratified a treaty while the other said 'sorry, the circumstances have changed.' We must not allow this," the Russian president said. "This is why a simultaneous, careful and maximally open discussion on this issue and the final confirmation by our parliaments is what we need. In this sense, Russia will not create any delays."

The treaty stipulates that the number of nuclear warheads is to be reduced to 1,550 on each side, while the number of delivery vehicles in operation and in reserve must not exceed 800.

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