The New START Treaty follies continue.

As posted here before, in order to obtain Senate ratification, the Obama administration offered certain understandings of disputed language in the Treaty regarding defensive missile systems.  Such interpretations were inconsistent with prior Russian statements as to what the Russians understood the language to mean.

Rather than making sure both the U.S. and Russia were on the same page as to the meaning of language everyone knew was disputed, the Treaty was rushed to ratification in the lame duck session just before Christmas.

But as further posted here, neither the Russian parliament nor Russian officials have consented to the U.S. interpretation.

While the Russian parliament will ratify the treaty, it appears that the parliament will attach language to the approval disavowing the unilateral interpretation offered by the Obama administration.  As reported by various Russian news sources (emphasis mine):

The U.S. Senate last month endorsed a ratification document outlining specific interpretations of the pact. Among other stipulations, the text states that U.S. missile defense activities should not be impaired by the treaty and backs heightened financial support for modernizing the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

One of the Duma’s supplementary statements would respond to the U.S. ratification text while the other would address Russia’s implementation of the treaty, Interfax quoted [Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin] Kosachyov as saying.

“The document addressed to the American side is entitled ‘On the Position of the State Duma on the Reduction and Limitations of Strategic Offensive Armaments’ and has 6.5 pages. It also recommends for the Russian president to add the ratification bill and this statement by the State Duma to the note on the exchange of the ratification instruments,” he said.

The document would emphasize that “the U.S. unilateral interpretation of certain provisions of this document does not change the legal commitments of the U.S. side and does not impose any additional commitments on Russia,” Kosachyov said.

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