Russia’s Council of Federation today approved the ratification of the START II Treaty, the Duma having already done so. Commenting on this move, Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (26 January):
“Russia’s approval of the START II Treaty puts the seal on a historic step in the disarmament process.
The agreed reduction of strategic arsenals is a signal to the whole world that the two biggest nuclear-weapon states are ready to make serious progress on nuclear disarmament.
Such a far-reaching disarmament treaty also bolsters efforts to strengthen the international system of nuclear non-proliferation. In the interest of our own security and of international security, we must prevent a situation where more and more states or even terrorists are getting their hands on nuclear weapons.
I hope that the ratification of the Treaty will give equal impetus to progress on disarmament in other areas too, such as sub-strategic nuclear weapons or conventional arsenals.
Germany will do what it can to ensure further progress on the global disarmament agenda.”