04:44 GMT +3 hours25 November 2014
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Russian State Duma ratifies new START treaty

Russia
(updated 18:27 28.10.2014)
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Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, ratified on Tuesday a new strategic arms reduction agreement with the United States.

Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, ratified on Tuesday a new strategic arms reduction agreement with the United States.

Russian lawmakers approved the document, adding some provisions to the ratification document and issuing two supplementary statements to the resolution on ratification of the treaty.

The ratification document provides a legally-binding clause that links strategic offensive and strategic defensive weapons.

The first supplementary statement addresses the current state and the future of Russia's nuclear deterrent, while the second outlines the State Duma's position on the reduction and limitations of strategic offensive armaments.

The new arms reduction pact, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed in Prague last April by President Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama. The document slashes the Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 nuclear warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

The U.S. Senate ratified the new arms deal with Russia on December 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up U.S. global missile defenses.

The new agreement will come into force after ratification by both houses of the Russian parliament, the State Duma and the Federation Council.

The upper house could hold its ratification vote as early as in its first session on January 26.

MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti)