Russia's Duma Turns down Motion against US Withdrawal from ABM Treaty

VOA News
14 Dec 2001

Russia's lower house of parliament has rejected a motion condemning the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic missile treaty.

The motion failed to gather enough votes in the State Duma Friday, as not enough lawmakers signed on to the resolution. Only 182 resolution supporters showed up for the vote, well short of the 226 needed for passage. A handful of lawmakers opposed the motion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Thursday's announcement that the United States will withdraw from the pact. He calls it a mistake. Other Russian politicians have denounced President Bush's decision even more harshly.

The United States and the Soviet Union signed the 1972 treaty, which prohibits development of anti-missile defense systems.

The Bush administration has begun developing such a system, which it calls necessary to prevent attacks by so-called "rogue" states like Iraq or North Korea. Mr. Bush had repeatedly said the 1972 treaty was designed for the Cold War and has thus become obsolete.