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Statement By The Vice President -Start II Treaty

I welcome today's vote by the Russian State Duma to approve the START II Treaty, which would further reduce the strategic nuclear arsenals of both our countries to one-third Cold War levels.

After pursuing this goal at the highest levels of the Russian government and parliament through the U.S.-Russia Binational Commission over the past seven years, I am gratified that the State Duma has taken this important step and that the Russian people have joined us in doing what is manifestly in our shared interests and in the interest of a safer world.

I encourage President-elect Putin and his government to join us in building upon today's progress by intensifying our discussions on START III and the ABM Treaty, and working toward the day when our children no longer need fear the threat of nuclear war.


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