Duma Postpones Ratification of Russian-US Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty

The State Duma has postponed the ratification of the Russian-American Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) Treaty.

This decision was taken at a State Duma meeting on Tuesday, Chairman of the Duma Defence Committee Andrei Nikolayev told journalists on Tuesday.

This is due to the escalating situation around Iraq, he said. Nikolayev avoided mentioning a new date for the consideration of the Treaty. Previously it was scheduled for Friday, March 21st.

The issue of ratifying the SOR Treaty can be discussed in the State Duma in early April, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma International Committee Sergei Shishkarev said at a press conference following the Duma meeting.

However, Shishkarev also said it was possible for the ratification of the document to be postponed to a later date.

"Everything will depend on the development of the Iraqi crisis, and the influence of Russia's opinion on the development of the conflict," the Russian MP said.

At today's meeting the Duma International Committee withdrew its proposal to confirm the ratification of the Strategic Offensive Reductions (SOR) Treaty in the State Duma agenda for March 21st, Shishkarev stated.

The Committee is convinced that ratification of this document is crucial, the deputy pointed out. However, the current Iraqi developments and the US President's ultimatum does not allow the State Duma to consider ratification of the document," Shishkarev stressed.