START II RATIFICATION NOW LINKED TO 1972 ABM TREATY.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 22
Russian voices welcoming the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the START II treaty nevertheless raised familiar concerns yesterday, suggesting once again that Russia’s unconditional ratification of the treaty will be problematic. The Russian General Staff’s Dmitri Kharchenko, for example, declared that the treaty "lowers the danger of nuclear war, preserves nuclear parity between Moscow and Washington, and guarantees Russia’s national security." Yet the general linked the treaty’s ratification to Russian concerns over U.S. observance of the 1972 ABM treaty, a U.S. initiative to develop a tactical missile defense system, and planned NATO expansion. Kharchenko’s concerns were echoed by a Foreign Ministry spokesman. Meanwhile, after a day of discussion, the Duma’s geopolitics committee was reported to have concluded that Russia is financially incapable of implementing the START II treaty and that Russian efforts to deal with the issue have been hamstrung by the government’s broader failure to develop a defense concept. (2)
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