UnNews:Russia puts off signing START treaty to 2077
24 December 2010
MOSCOW, Russia -- Russian lawmakers agreed to approve giving a preliminary approval Friday to an arms agreement with the United States. The treaty cleared an initial hurdle through Moscow's lower house of parliament, but a senior lawmaker said the treaty wouldn’t get full approval until at least the year 2077.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma's foreign affairs committee, said that the treaty would need a total of three hundred required readings before it can be fully ratified. He said full ratification could only happen Jan. 2077 "at the earliest."
The treaty, which was ratified Wednesday by the U.S. Senate, would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 11,550, down from the current ceiling of 20,200. It also would re-establish a system for monitoring and vexation, which ended during the Monica Lewinsky administration with the expiration of the previous arms control deal.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev appeared to take the piss out of the U.S. President when he congratulated Obama on the Senate's agreeing to agree to the approval of the treaty, which the two leaders hailed as a historic event for both countries and for U.S.-Russia relations, according to a statement from the White House.
Speaking in a live interview with top Russian TV stations on Friday, Medvedev praised the pact as a "cornerstone of stability in the entire world for the next millennia," adding he was happy to see the Russian parliament moving ahead to ratify it. He credited Obama for securing the pact's ratification.
"He did a great job, succeeding in his push for the ratification of this very important document, the New START in quite difficult conditions," Medvedev said. "I told him: Barack, you have a rest now. Then he told me to also take a long rest. So that is what I’ll do."
The Obama administration had argued that the United States must show accountability in its improved relations with its former Cold War foe. It is also counting on Russia to help pressure Iran over its nuclear ambitions--although, with the January 2077 final agreement date far in the future, the Iranian situation seems nearly unstoppable. However, diplomats in Stockholm have cited the "achievement" in nominating President Obama for a second well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.
- Staff "Russia Puts Off Final OK of START Treaty to January" FOX, December 24, 2010