The bill was finally passed with the support of 350 Duma members, they were mostly members of factions of the United Russia and Just Russia, 96 deputies were against (Communists and Liberal Democrats), and one abstained. At least 226 votes were needed to ratify the new treaty.
The State Duma has ratified the new START treaty after having adopted on 14 January a number of amendments, stipulating, among others, the interconnection between the START and the U.S. missile defense system. Following the adoption by the State Duma, the bill was submitted for consideration to the Federation Council, which today, on 26 January, at the first meeting of the spring session, approved the law on ratification of the START treaty.
The document was unanimously endorsed by all 137 senators who attended the meeting. The bill was introduced to the senators by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. Mikhail Margelov, who emphasized that the new START treaty “reduces the global nuclear danger”.
The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama on April 8, 2010 in Prague provides a reduction by the US and Russia within the next seven years in the number of deployed strategic delivery weapons - ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines and heavy strategic bombers – up to 700, which together with non-deployed carriers should not exceed 800 units. The number of warheads, in accordance with the adopted document is limited to 1550 units. Moreover, as noted Margelov, “the right of each party is to determine by itself the composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms.”
This law prescribes in detail the conditions under which the document is ratified, as well as powers of the president, the Russian government and the Chambers of the Federal Assembly during its execution. It also clarifies the exceptional circumstances under which the Russian side can unilaterally withdraw from this treaty.
In particular, it is emphasized that Russia may withdraw from the agreement in case of violation of its provisions by the US, unilateral deployment by the US of missile defense systems that “qualitatively violate national security and defense capability of the Russian Federation”, and introduction of conventionally-armed systems without appropriate solutions of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (its establishment is provided for by the Contract).
Remember that the US Senate ratified the treaty last year, on December 22 and the previous START treaty expired on December 5, 2009.