#38 - JRL 2009-220 - JRL Home
Russian MP expects new arms reduction treaty with USA to be signed 'soon'

Moscow, 30 November: The work of the negotiating delegations makes it possible to hope and expect that Russia and the USA will sign a new START (Strategic Arms Reduction) treaty by the allotted deadline, the head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, who is currently in Switzerland, told journalists on Monday (30 November).

"The pace reached in the work of both countries' negotiating delegations and their constructive attitude make it possible to hope and expect that the final result will not be long in coming and the signing of the new START treaty will take place soon," stressed Kosachev.

He noted that "tense, intense and substantial work is continuing by both delegations practically around the clock" in Geneva.

Kosachev also noted that "a determination is obvious to achieve results in the timeframe set by both countries' presidents, which is connected with the date when the current START-2 treaty expires on 5 December".

Kosachev noted that the talks which have been going on for several months have allowed both sides "to bring their positions much closer, and even come to mutually acceptable agreements on several fundamental issues".

He also noted that disagreements still remain, and that "to overcome these disagreements serious efforts are required and a compromise needs to be reached in the time remaining before 5 December".

He clarified that in some instances the disagreements are technical in nature, while in others they are political.

Without revealing any details of the negotiating process, which is taking place behind closed doors, the Russian parliamentarian pointed to "an interrelationship between a reduction in strategic arms and missile defence issues, as well as prospects for simplifying the procedures for verifying the agreements that are reached in the future document".

In Kosachev's opinion, the prospect of the new START treaty being ratified by Russia's Federal Assembly and USA's Congress largely depends on how the disagreements are overcome.

Kosachev expressed certainty that the ratification will not encounter any problems, as long as the document that is agreed upon takes into account the security interests of both countries equally and "does not contain any discriminatory constructions - whether they are actually in terms of the balance of strategic nuclear forces or in the sphere of supervision over the observance of these agreements".

Kosachev reported that in this context those in Geneva have discussed the prospects for interaction between the houses of the Russian and US parliaments in preparing the new treaty for ratification after it is signed. Kosachev is not ruling out the possibility that the delegations of negotiators currently working in Geneva will become involved in the process.

He also recalled that in the middle of November there were closed hearings in the committee which he heads up regarding a new START treaty, in which Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov took part.

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