Monday, January 3, 2011

New START Treaty - #2526 - Russian Duma to Link Missile Defense to START Limitation - Hot Air

The Russian Duma delivered two embarrassing blows to the Obama administration over the holidays on the START treaty, one of which may end up scotching the deal altogether. First, the Russian legislature refused to do what Barack Obama insisted of the US Senate, which was a quick ratification. More importantly, however, the Duma will do what Senate Republicans wanted, which was to amend the treaty to clarify the relationship between START and missile defense. However, the Duma’s changes will link the two and recast START into a de facto anti-missile defense pact: The State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) plans to confirm the link between the reduction of the strategic offensive arms and the restriction of antimissile defense systems’ deployment in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed between the US and Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs says. “During the ratification of START in the US Congress the American lawmakers noted that the link between strategic offensive armed forces and antimissile defense systems is not juridically binding for the parties. They referred to the fact that this link was fixed only in the preamble of the document. Such an approach can be regarded as the US’ attempt to find an option to build up its strategic potential and the Russian lawmakers cannot agree with this,” Kosachev says.
Remember when the pact’s supporters insisted that the preamble didn’t carry any legal weight? The Duma begs to differ: Read more........

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