MOSCOW WANTS TREATY ON STRATEGIC OFFENSIVE POTENTIAL REDUCTION RATIFIED

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MOSCOW WANTS TREATY ON STRATEGIC OFFENSIVE POTENTIAL REDUCTION RATIFIED

Vremya Novostei, May 5, 2003, p. 1

Alexander Yakovenko of the Foreign Ministry of Russia told NTV channel yesterday that official Moscow was for ratification of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Potential Reduction between Russia and the United States. “Ratification will benefit Russia,” Yakovenko said, because by 2012 it will leave between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads in each country’s arsenals instead of the current 6,000. Yakovenko added that the Russian-American cooperation in the sphere of anti-ballistic missile defense would be discussed at the St. Petersburg summit and that Russia was negotiating “a European anti-ballistic missile defense system with NATO countries”.

YAVLINSKY WANTS A CABINET REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

Vremya Novostei, May 5, 2003, p. 4

Yabloko leader Grigori Yavlinsky claims that there are enough votes in the Duma to put on the agenda the question of a government report on the economic situation. “The decision on the vote of no confidence in the government is to be made on the basis of the report,” Yavlinsky said. “We consider it timely.”

Yabloko decided to initiate a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet in late April and even discussed the matter with the Communist Party. According to Yavlinsky, economic situation in the country is lamentable first and foremost because of the state of affairs with energy prices in the world markets. “Oil prices are already below those expected by the budget,” he said and added that the price might even fall below $15-16 in the future. “It worries us that the government has not solved a single important economic task even with the favorable oil prices of the past several years,” the politician concluded.

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