Duma Will Not Ratify Arms Treaty if Link to Missile Defense Omitted – Gryzlov

From Interfax:  Russian State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said the Duma would not ratify the new strategic arms treaty with the United States if it does not seal the link with missile defense.

"State Duma deputies participate in the drafting of the START-II treaty. We will not ratify it, if it does not take into account the link between strategic offensive weapons and missile defense," Gryzlov told his Bulgarian counterpart Tsetska Tsacheva on Tuesday.

From Sofia News Agency:  Bulgaria’s Parliamentary Speaker, Tsetska Tsacheva, who is on an official visit to Moscow, has stated that Bulgaria has not discussed whether it should join the proposed US missile shield.

Tsacheva was responding to a question posed by her Russian counterpart, Boris Gryzlov, as the Russian lower house of parliament, the Duma, discussed the new strategic arms treaty (START).

The Duma Speaker has announced that it might block the treaty unless it was linked to missile defense…

He told Tsacheva that US plans to deploy elements of a missile defense shield in eastern Europe were "a particularly sensitive issue for Russia".  (photo: Office of the President of Russia)

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