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Treaty with Russia on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms--Resumed

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LeMIEUX. Mr. President, I have had the opportunity to work out with the Senator from Massachusetts an amendment to the resolution, which I will be offering in a second.

To my colleagues, what this does--we had this discussion the other day on the treaty. This is an amendment to the resolution that would require, within a year's time of ratification, that the President of the United States certify to the Senate that the United States will seek to initiate with the Russian Federation negotiations on the disparity between nonstrategic or tactical nuclear weapons and to make sure we secure those weapons and reduce the number of tactical nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner.

Remember, the Russians have a 10-to-1 ratio of tactical nuclear weapons over us--3,000 to 300--not talked about in this treaty, an important issue. This requires that the President will certify within a year's time that the parties are going to sit down and have a negotiation about the disparity, about verification, and about securing these weapons. It has been agreed to by all parties.

With that, amendment No. 4908 has been cleared on both sides. I now ask that the amendment, as modified by the changes at the desk, be offered and agreed to.

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Mr. LeMIEUX. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Massachusetts for working on this with us. I think this is an important improvement that will require that the United States seek to initiate negotiations with the Russian Federation within a year's period of time. I thank my colleague from Massachusetts, as well as other colleagues who were willing to make this happen as part of the ratification.

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