Friday, December 24, 2010

Still Disputing Missile Defense

There doesn't seem to be much of a question that the Russian parliament will vote for New START. I suppose some members might be suspicious that it couldn't possibly be as good as I think it is for Russia, and so it must be some deep American trap. But other than that level of opposition, it will sail through (and that doesn't even consider that a rubber stamp parliament will do as it is told).

Still, the Russians won't let our Senate's assertion on missile defense stand unanswered:

Kosachev and other lawmakers said that the Duma will likely counter the Senate legislation with legislation of its own.

"We don't have the right to leave their interpretations unanswered," Kosachev told reporters on Friday. "Otherwise it may give additional advantages to our American partners — or, possibly, opponents. We need to balance those advantages."

The treaty also needs to be ratified by the upper house, the Federation Council, which like the Duma is controlled by the Kremlin.

Addressing legislators in both houses of parliament, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that the legislation accompanying the treaty doesn't change it and made it extremely clear that the Kremlin wants the pact ratified.

Indeed, the Russians don't even think the separate Senate actions outside of the treaty even matter at all.

Either way, the Russians sure seem to believe our missile defense options are limited by the New START pact. Reset!