DATE=4/20/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / NUCLEAR ONITER (S-ONLY) NUMBER=2-261566 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday on ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports. TEXT: The Duma is expected to show its support of a world-wide ban on testing nuclear weapons and ratify the treaty on Friday. At the government's request, the hearing will be held behind closed doors. Ratification would mark yet another victory for President-elect Vladimir Putin, who is setting a brisk pace for approval of long-standing international agreements on nuclear issues. Last week, the Duma approved the 1993 START-Two nuclear arms reduction treaty after years of delay. Some Russian commentators suggest ratification of the test ban treaty would allow Moscow to upstage the West when Russia's foreign minister visits the United States for meetings on arms control issues next week. The U-S Senate refused to ratify the treaty last year, after opponents argued it would undermine strategic stability. (Signed) NEB/EC/GE/ENE/JP 20-Apr-2000 13:52 PM EDT (20-Apr-2000 1752 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .