Russia’s State Duma passes first reading of New START treaty. After only a few hours of discussion, the nation’s lower house of parliament on Friday, December 24 overwhelmingly approved a first reading of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on joint arms reduction with the United States. Coming after a similar decision in the US Senate a few days ago, this vote of approval by the State Duma is to be followed by two more readings in 2011. The final ratification of the accord commits to a 30% reduction in nuclear arms by both Russia and the United States, along with open inspections on both sides. Andrei Kortunov, President of Moscow-based research non-profit, New Eurasia Foundation, stated, “Today's ratification in the State Duma marks the completion of a most important achievement in the entire history of US-Russian recent reset in the relations. This success is hard to overestimate from the point of view of the real disarmament process.”
Our respectful appreciation, Russian legislators, for your decision that lights the way toward greater peace in your country and the world. Blessed be such exemplary leadership in furthering a vision of safety and tranquility for all beings across the globe.