Duma Deputy Praises US Arms Cuts

The deputy chairman of the State Duma (lower chamber of the Russian parliament) international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, today announced that George Bush's declaration that the US was ready to cut its nuclear weapons by 1700-2000 warheads was a "long-awaited gesture of good will on Washington's part, which opens new prospects for further dialogue between Russia and the USA." At the same time, he said that this was still only a declaration without any specific obligations, which theoretically could be cast aside at any moment. The deputy believes that these agreements should be given legal force, while preserving the status quo of the 1972 ABM treaty. When talking about the current Russian-US summit, Kosachev expressed his hope that the Senate would soon vote to annul the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1972.

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