START Clears Hurdle in Russian Parliament

But it'll need to do it twice more to pass it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2010 10:23 AM CST
General view of Russian lower parliament chamber session in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

(Newser) – The Russian parliament voted 350-58 to give its initial blessing to the START deal today, after the first of three required readings of the document. But it put off the other readings, and the final vote, until after a New Year’s vacation that ends Jan. 11, the AP reports. The head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee says the treaty will be fully approved sometime next month “at the earliest.”

In a live TV interview today, Dmitry Medvedev hailed the treaty as the “cornerstone of stability both on the European continent and the entire world for the next decades.” He also praised President Obama for pushing the deal through Republican opposition. “I told him: Barack, you have a rest now.”

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