Russia ratifies US nuclear disarmament treaty

It reduces old warhead ceilings by 30% and limits each side to 700 deploy long-range missiles.

Moscow: Russia`s upper house of parliament ratified the new US nuclear disarmament treaty Wednesday, the final step in approving the first nuclear pact between the two sides in 20 years.

All 137 senators in the Federation Council upper house approved the new START treaty, which US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed in Prague on April 8, 2010, state news agencies said.

The new Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START) reduces old warhead ceilings by 30 percent and limits each side to 700 deployed long-range missiles and heavy bombers.

Russia`s State Duma lower house of parliament backed the measure in the third and final reading on Tuesday and the US Senate ratified the pact last month.

The original 1991 START agreement expired at the end of 2009 amid differences in readings of what constituted real 21st-century threats.

Bureau Report