MOSCOW — Legislators in the lower house of Russia's parliament are debating ratification of a pivotal nuclear arms pact with the United States that has been ratified by the US Senate.
The State Duma is holding a second reading on the New START treaty. Prospects for the pact's approval aren't in doubt, but Russian lawmakers want to counter a US Senate resolution that accompanied ratification with a similar motion.
Just like the US Senate resolution that raised some Republican concerns about the pact without directly affecting it, the Russian ratification bill wouldn't interfere with the deal.
The New START would limit each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200 and also re-establish a system for monitoring that ended with the expiration of a previous arms control pact.