Russian lawmakers gave preliminary approval Friday to an arms agreement with the United States, but signaled they would slow progress on the so-called New START treaty to a crawl after it was rushed through Congress earlier this week with some 11th-hour arm-twisting by President Obama.
The treaty cleared an initial hurdle through Moscow’s lower house of parliament, but a senior lawmaker said the treaty won’t get full approval until at least next month.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, said that the treaty would need a total of three required readings before it can be fully ratified. He said full ratification could only happen next month “at the earliest.”
The assessment seems to put the brakes on the document Obama called a top priority as he whipped up the Republican votes needed to pass it before the end of the lame-duck session.