So why the rush on the START treaty?

Remember how the US Senate just had to ratify the START treaty before the end of the year. It was simply not possible for the Senate to wait until January when it would have had more time. Remember that we had to do it to show good faith to the Russians? Well, now it is clear that the Russians are in no rush to ratify the treaty until sometime in at least January. The ultimate irony is that the Russian Parliament is completely dominated by one political party controlled by Putin, and it can do whatever it wants as quickly as it wants.

Russian lawmakers gave preliminary approval Friday to an arms agreement with the United States, but signaled they would slow progress on the so-called New START treaty to a crawl after it was rushed through Congress earlier this week with some 11th-hour arm-twisting by President Obama.
The treaty cleared an initial hurdle through Moscow's lower house of parliament, but a senior lawmaker said the treaty won't get full approval until at least next month.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma's foreign affairs committee, said that the treaty would need a total of three required readings before it can be fully ratified. He said full ratification could only happen next month "at the earliest."
The assessment seems to put the brakes on the document Obama called a top priority as he whipped up the Republican votes needed to pass it before the end of the lame-duck session. . . .

Now we have this.

A retired Navy vice admiral who has dealt with Soviet nuclear issues for decades said Friday that the Russians are taunting the Obama administration by dragging their feet on the arms reduction treaty the president just pushed through Congress. . . .



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