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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

START II Ratification Tied to Missiles




The State Duma will not ratify the START II nuclear treaty unless the government promises to build a new generation of nuclear missiles, a top official said Tuesday.


Viktor Ilyukhin, the chairman of the parliament's security commission, said the government must guarantee it will replace the RS-18 and RS-20, two powerful missile types that would be deactivated under START II, with the new Topol-M, Interfax reported.


Unless the Topol-M missiles are introduced within two years of dismantling the older missiles, Ilyukhin said he is "not convinced" that the treaty will be ratified, Interfax said.


Ilyukhin's comments came after Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov met with lawmakers to ask them once again to pass START II.


The pact to cut nuclear arms has been stalled by the Duma for years. The agreement was signed in 1993 and was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1996.


Military officials have said they plan to overhaul Russia's nuclear missile arsenal with the Topol-M, at a cost of $30 million each.