Start 2 Agreement

Paragraph 6 establishes that, when concluding a separate agreement on an assistance programme to promote the implementation of those reductions within one year of entry into force, the timetable for the implementation of the second phase of further reductions and compliance with the additional restrictions provided for in Article II shall not exceed 31 December 2000. Given that seven years after the entry into force of the START II Treaty, it is likely that it will be close to the end of 2000, it is clear that the parties must be ready to complete their reductions within a shorter period of time than the periods during which they were initially required to complete such reductions. The limitation of this obligation, according to which the agreement on such an aid programme must be concluded before one year after its entry into force, was added at Russia`s request. The parties wished to clarify that such an agreement should be concluded well in front of the accelerated closing date of the second phase of the reductions in order to give Russia the necessary time to fulfil this revised commitment. Finally, the guarantee of compliance with the ABM contract must be a sine qua non. Compliance with this treaty will be essential not only for START-3, but also for other arms reduction agreements between nuclear powers. The attitude of the largest bloc in the State Duma – the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), currently in firm opposition to START-2 – will be the decisive factor in the ratification of START-2. The deputies of the Agricultural Party and perhaps other pro-communist movements will probably vote in alliance with the KPRF (43.6% of the vote in total). Nevertheless, it is possible that the attitude of this bloc will change…

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