MOSCOW (AP) — President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday welcomed the U.S. Senate's decision to ratify a landmark U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty, but Russian legislators said they need to study a resolution accompanying the document before following suit.
Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said that when Medvedev signed the New START treaty with President Barack Obama, they agreed that the ratification process should be conducted simultaneously.
She said that Medvedev voiced hope that both houses of Russian parliament would ratify the pact, but added that they would need some time to analyze the Senate's conditions for its ratification before making their decision.
The New START treaty, signed by Obama and Medvedev in April, would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended last year with the expiration of a previous arms control deal.
Legislators in the Kremlin-controlled parliament had said before the Senate landmark ruling on Wednesday that they would approve the treaty quickly after it is ratified in the U.S.
Lower house speaker Boris Gryzlov, however, told reporters Thursday that the Senate's ratification resolution apparently contained some conditions and the legislators need to carefully study the text before making their decision.
He added that the State Duma may ratify the pact Friday if the text of the treaty itself remained unchanged.
"If these conditions don't change the text of the treaty, we may pass a ratification bill even tomorrow," Gryzlov said.
He said that the house would need more time if it finds any changes in the body of the treaty.
Conservative Republicans said the pact would limit U.S. options on missile defense, lacked sufficient procedures to verify Russia's adherence and deserved more time for consideration. [...] go read the rest
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