Duma Gives Initial Approval to New START

Now that the US has ratified New Start, it's Russia's turn.

Now that the United States Senate has ratified the New START treaty, it’s the Duma’s turn.

Via the BBC:  Russian MPs back Start US arms treaty on first reading

The lower house of the Russian parliament, the Duma, has voted to give initial approval to the Start nuclear arms pact with the US.


There were hopes the Duma would give its full approval but officials decided that two more readings were necessary.

The pact must also be ratified by the upper house, the Federation Council.

Before MPs voted to back the treaty by 350 votes to 58, concerns were expressed in the Duma about two non-binding amendments that had been made by the Senate before ratification.

The lower house will take up the treaty again in January before it can move to he upper house.

The BBC piece has the following informative chart:

Nuclear arsenals

I continue to be vexed as to exactly what the basis was for opposing the treaty (apart, of course, from petty partisan points—but perhaps I answer my own question).   One would like the think that at least some of the opposition was based on some sort of serious arguments, but what those arguments were is unclear.

At a minimum, if one looks at the numbers, it would seem that we will still have plenty of nuclear weapons.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I think we should have an unlimited number of weapons designed for use against a country that no longer exists and has been replaced by a country that is no longer our enemy.

    A mere 1550 nuclear warheads, each far more powerful than the bombs we used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Our enemies (whoever they may be, not quite sure just now,) will laugh at this pitiful display. “Hah!” they will say. “Sure you can obliterate every military and industrial facility and every city of any size, but what about the village of Nov Shitskheel out in Yakutsk? Huh? What are you gonna do to stop their Yak-milking industry?”

    Then it’s game over for the US of A. All thanks to liberals. And gay soldiers.