Discussions on ratifying the new Russian-US strategic arms reduction treaty (START) divided Russian deputies into two opposing camps.
The Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, approved Friday the first of three readings for ratification of the new treaty.
As expected, members of the country’s ruling United Russia party and the A Just Russia party backed the treaty while the communists and the liberal democrats rallied against it.
Russia’s Defense Committee chairperson Viktor Zavarzin urged his colleagues to refrain from emotional assessments and to ponder instead the issue’s practical side.
“[The new treaty] is of mutual benefit for both countries while many influential experts, including U.S. ones, believe that Russia would gain more if it is sealed,” the lawmaker said.
At the same time, he called “naive” speculations the US would ditch its program to create a missile defense shield spanning territories of European countries.
He emphasized in such a situation, Russia would become a passive observer stripped of capabilities to contain build-up of US strategic weapons.
“This hardly corresponds to Russian interests,” Zavarzin said.
Just Russia party head Nikolai Levichev emphasized the new treaty would have a substantial impact on future fate of the entire world.