U.S.-Russian strategic arms pact will need parliamentary ratification

The prospective U.S.-Russian pact cutting strategic nuclear stockpiles is currently being prepared for presidential signature at the Moscow summit later this month. This will be a legally binding agreement, and U.S. President George W. Bush will send it to Congress for ratification, a high-ranking Administration official told The New York Times Saturday. According to the source, Russia and the United States have agreed to submit their arms pact for parliamentary ratification after the two presidents have signed it. Thus, the pact will be given the status of a full-scale international treaty. The Bush Administration is now examining two ratification options, the source reports. If the U.S. chooses to view the document as an international treaty, the draft will need to be supported by two-thirds of Senate. And if it is looked upon as an agreement between the executive and the legislative branches of the government, its ratification will require a simple parliamentary majority, but both in Senate and in the House of Representatives.

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