Putin clears path for ratification of START treaty

According to the PMO website, the Russian cabinet has studied the new Russian-US strategic arms reduction treaty (START) and in its recommendations signed by Putin has advised President Dmitry Medvedev to submit it for the ratification by the parliament.

Under the Russian statute an international treaty signed by the President has to be approved by the cabinet prior to parliamentary nod as it is the government, which is responsible for its implementation.

The new arms treaty, signed on April 8 by Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama, replaces the 1991 pact that expired in December last year.

The treaty provides for the reduction of the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 on each side over seven years.

Under it the world's two nuclear superpowers, cannot have more than 800 deployed or non-deployed delivery vehicles.

Obama has already submitted the new START treaty on May 13 for the Senate nod and asked for its speedy ratification.

While signing the new treaty, Moscow had expressed several reservations, including its simultaneous ratification and reserved the right to walk out of the pact in case Washington goes ahead with its missile defence plans close to the Russian borders.

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