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Senate may start discussing Russian-U.S. strategic arms treaty Dec. 13

© PanARMENIAN / Go to the photo bankUS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - Sputnik International
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Discussions of a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia may be included into the agenda of the U.S. Senate's December 13 session, Foreign Policy said.

Discussions of a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia may be included into the agenda of the U.S. Senate's December 13 session, Foreign Policy said.

"Senate sources say the deal is imminent and would result in bringing the treaty, known as New START, to the Senate floor on Dec. 13, which could provide up to two weeks of floor time to debate and then ratify the pact," The Cable blog, posted on the Foreign Policy website, says.

Jon Kyl, the number-two Senate Republican Jon Kyl, who earlier expressed his support for the treaty, said two weeks are needed to properly vet the treaty.

The results of November's elections to Congress, which saw the Republicans make big gains at the expense of the Democrats, mean that Obama has until January, when the new Congressmen take up their positions, to try to push the treaty through. The Obama administration hopes to get the treaty ratified by Christmas.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration and Republican leaders in congress have reached the final stages of preparing a deal to bring the treaty to a Senate vote in a lame-duck session.

"We've made a lot of progress [in preparing a deal with Republicans], but it's not done until it's done," Clinton told.

"We have been encouraged by the positive response we've received from a number of Republicans," she said. "I believe we have enough votes that recognize the national security importance of doing this. But I'm not counting the chickens until they vote."

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the arms reduction treaty on April 8 in Prague to replace the START 1 agreement that expired in December 2009.

The new Russian-U.S. pact obligates both nations to cap their fielded strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads, while the number of deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles must not exceed 800 on either side.

The agreement will come into force after simultaneous ratification by both chambers of the Russian parliament and the U.S. Senate.

 

WASHINGTON, December 4 (RIA Novosti)

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