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megimoo
01-14-2011, 12:33 PM
Russia nears arms pact approval, warns on pullout

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The amendments stipulate that Russia could withdraw if military deployments or even plans by the United States or NATO jeopardize its security.They highlight lingering rifts over U.S. plans for a European anti-missile shield and Russian concerns over other weapons it fears the United States or NATO could deploy.

A missile system that weakens Russia's nuclear arsenal would "force us to use the article of the treaty that provides for the withdrawal of a state that feels violated in terms of security," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Duma, Interfax reported.


New START will commit each side to ceilings of 1,550 warheads on deployed strategic missiles and bombers within seven years and establish verification rules to replace those that expired in 2009 with the 1991 START I treaty.

Analysts say rejection of the treaty by Russia's parliament, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party, is out of the question. The amendments enabled Russia to underscore how it views the pact.

Duma international affairs committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said the amendments would "restore balance" after the U.S. Senate irked Russia with its interpretations of the treaty.

RIGHT TO WITHDRAW

The Duma's warnings of a possible withdrawal are largely a matter of emphasis, because the treaty itself includes broad language allowing either side to pull out if it decides its "supreme interests" are threatened.

Russia stressed its right to withdraw because of concerns over the U.S. anti-missile shield in a statement it adopted when Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama signed the treaty last April.

"The Russians are using their law on ratification to reflect their concerns, and it really is an answer to some of the language in the U.S. Senate ratification resolution," said Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.The U.S. Senate stressed that a clause in the pact's preamble acknowledging an "interrelationship" between strategic offensive and defensive arms placed no legal constraint on U.S. missile defense plans.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110114/pl_nm/us_russia_usa_start