- Medvedev, Obama start talks at APEC summit in Japan
- Senior U.S. official expresses concern over START delay
- Medvedev, Obama discuss process of new START ratification
- U.S. administration prioritizes new START treaty ratification
Russia will not hurry to ratify a key nuclear arms reduction deal with the U.S. if Congress delays its approval of the treaty, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said on Friday.
"If a delay occurs in the U.S. Congress on the ratification of the arms deal, then we'll wait," Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov said, adding that Russia and the United States had agreed on the simultaneous ratification of the landmark pact.
The results of November's elections to Congress, which saw the Republicans make big gains at the expense of the Democrats, may jeopardize ratification as the Republicans have repeatedly attempted to block President Barack Obama's initiatives.
Obama will have to struggle to enlist the Republicans to ratify the deal in the current lame-duck Congress. Otherwise the vote may be delayed until January 3, when the six newly elected Republican Senators officially take office.
Failure to ratify the deal would likely spell the end to the much-heralded "reset" in ties between Russia and the U.S.
But Mironov said he hoped that common sense would win the day and the deal would be ratified.
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.
MOSCOW, November 19 (RIA Novosti)
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: Life of the First Man in Space in Pictures
Infographics: Sledge Hockey
For Russia, Crimea is more than just a territory. It is not for land that Russia is putting all her prestige at stake. This situation is about wounded national pride, history, identity, national phobias, a new Russian nationalism, past relations with the “West” full of real and perceived injuries, and Western hypocrisy.