The State Duma of Russia at its closed Wednesday session ratified the Russian-American Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, SOR.
The treaty was ratified with by 294-134 votes, with no abstentions, chairman of the Duma Defence Committee Alexei Arbatov reported.
The SOR Treaty was signed on May 24, 2002, during the Russian-US summit in Moscow by Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Bush. The document envisages that each party by December 31, 2012, reduce its strategic nuclear warheads to 1,700-2,200, which is approximately 3 times lower than the threshold level provided by the current START-1 Treaty.
In compliance with the law on ratification, the fulfilment of the Treaty is based on preserving the potential of Russian strategic nuclear forces necessary to ensure national security, taking into account the dynamics of the US deployment of the anti-missile defence system, as well as on the basis of preserving the military alert of the Russian strategic nuclear forces.
The law also provides for priority financing of Russia's strategic nuclear forces, measures to preserve and develop the necessary laboratory and testing facilities and industrial capacities, as well as the effort for safe elimination and utilisation of strategic offensive arms and fulfilment of the SOR Treaty and the USSR-US Treaty on reduction of strategic offensive arms /START/, signed in Moscow on July 31, 1991.
The reduction of strategic offensive arms falling under the SOR Treaty shall take place with preserving their fighting strength for the maximum possible exploitation period, the document points out.
The law ensures safe conditions for exploitation, storage, elimination and utilization of Russia's strategic offensive arms.
In compliance with it, in the process of fulfilling the SOR Treaty, the President of the Russian Federation shall determine major directions of the state policy in development of the country's strategic nuclear forces and nuclear disarmament with consideration to carrying out measures to fulfill the SOR Treaty.
Within three months after the Treaty comes into force, the Russian President shall submit to the Federal Assembly information on the main parameters of the programme for developing strategic nuclear forces.
Also, the President shall determine major directions of Russia's international activities in the sphere of strategic offensive arms and anti-missile defence in order to strengthen strategic stability and ensure national security.
The chambers of the Federal Assembly will consider the Russian government's annual report on the progress of fulfilling the SOR and START Treaties.