For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2544
Release Date:  17 April 2000
 Secretary-General Welcomes Russian Ratification of START II Treaty

  NEW YORK, 14 April (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

 The Secretary-General welcomes today’s ratification of the Strategic Arms Limitation and Reduction Treaty II (START II) by the Russian State Duma and commends President Putin for having taken this important initiative.

 This long-awaited development is likely to provide a fresh impetus to nuclear disarmament efforts, and will have a positive effect on the forthcoming 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.  The Secretary-General looks forward to the commencement of START III negotiations, which will contribute to further reductions in nuclear weapons.

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