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Bush Sends Senate US-Russia Treaty

June 20, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush submitted to the Senate on Thursday the nuclear arms treaty he signed with Russia last month and asked lawmakers for prompt ratification.

``The Moscow Treaty is emblematic of our new, cooperative relationship with Russia,″ Bush said in a formal message to the Senate accompanying the treaty.

He and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the pact May 24 during Bush’s trip to Russia. It calls for the United States and Russia to slash their strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200 deployed warheads each over the next decade, a two-thirds reduction.

``When these reductions are completed, each country will be at the lowest level of deployed strategic nuclear warheads in decades,″ Bush said. ``This will benefit the peoples of both the United States and Russia and contribute to a more secure world.″

Under the Constitution, the Senate must ratify any treaty the president negotiates before it can be implemented. ``I therefore urge the Senate to give prompt and favorable consideration to the treaty, and to advise and consent to its ratification,″ Bush said.

At a White House meeting earlier this month, the president lobbied Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for swift action on the three-page treaty. Biden said then that he envisioned a half-dozen Senate hearings on the treaty and a fall vote by the full Senate.

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