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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. administration seeks soonest ratification of arms treaty with Russia

RIA Novosti

01:11 06/10/2010

WASHINGTON, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. administration has been pressing for the soonest ratification of a new strategic arms reduction deal with Russia, a U.S. assistant secretary of state said in her speech to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

The U.S. Senate foreign affairs committee approved the treaty for ratification last week, but fears are that it will face opposition when it goes to a vote in the full house.

"On September 16, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended by a vote of 14 to 4 that the full Senate provide its advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the New START Treaty. The Administration seeks this vote as soon as possible," Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller said.

She said the new treaty, signed by the Russian and U.S. presidents on April 8 in Prague, would provide transparency and predictability regarding the world's two largest nuclear arsenals while remaining a key element in the national security of the U.S. and its allies.

"The New START Treaty will also set the stage for further progress in fulfilling the goals of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and for expanding opportunities for enhancing strategic stability," the U.S. diplomat said.

"We urge all other governments to help strengthen the global nuclear nonproliferation regime, and we hope that the UNGA will join with us in welcoming the significant achievement of New START," she added.

The treaty to replace the START 1 agreement that expired in December 2009 is yet to be ratified by both chambers of the Russian parliament and the U.S. Senate. The Russian and U.S. presidents earlier agreed that the ratification processes should be carried out simultaneously.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Senate last Friday to ratify the treaty after the November 2 mid-term elections.

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