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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LeMIEUX. Madam President, this amendment says simply one thing: that within 1 year's time of the ratification of this treaty, the United States and Russia would sit down and negotiate a tactical nuclear weapons treaty. Why do I bring this forward? Because we know--and we heard a lot about it today in our closed session--that there is a tremendous disparity between the number of tactical nuclear weapons our country has at 300 and the Russians have at 3,000--10 to 1. If this treaty is ratified, the Russians will have 4,500 nuclear weapons. We will have 1,800.

This is not a poison pill. You will hear that; it is not. It does not change a material term of this agreement. It just says within a year's time, we will sit down and enter into these negotiations. We need to put it into the treaty because that is the only way we can make sure it will happen.

If we send this treaty with this amendment back to the Russian Duma and they don't approve it, what does that say? It says they know they have a significant advantage over us. It is the right thing to do. It is something I think all of our colleagues should be able to agree to. It is not a poison pill. Let's approve it. Thank you.


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