MANEUVERING CONTINUES OVER START II.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 3
On January 4 a key Russian lawmaker appeared to confirm that consideration of the START II strategic arms treaty has indeed been placed on the Russian State Duma’s agenda for its upcoming spring session. Deputy Duma Speaker Vladimir Ryzhkov warned, however, that sentiment within the lower house of parliament is still running against approval of the document. He suggested that dissatisfaction among Russian lawmakers over the recent U.S.-British strikes on Iraq remains one of a number of important factors mitigating against approval of the treaty (Russian agencies, January 4).
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov, meanwhile, late in December appeared to step up his already energetic efforts to win ratification of START II. According to remarks which Maslyukov’s press secretary, Anton Surikov, made to the press on December 31, the Russian minister will “actively lobby” Duma deputies for ratification of the treaty. Maslyukov will reportedly argue that, contrary to the prevailing opinion among legislators, START II is no less advantageous for Russia than it is for the United States. He will also argue that a speedy ratification of START II is important because it will permit the two sides to move quickly to consider a follow-up START III treaty. According to Surikov, Maslyukov believes that the Duma could consider the treaty in late January or early February of this year (Russian agencies, January 5).
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