DATE=4/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / NUCLEAR (L) NUMBER=2-261592 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, has ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, [or C- T-B-T], which calls for countries worldwide to prohibit nuclear testing. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports Russia's president-elect, Vladimir Putin, is forcing a fast pace on nuclear and security issues ahead of his inauguration on May 7th. TEXT: As expected, Russia's lower house approved the test ban treaty on Friday, the latest in a series of political victories for president-elect Putin. Just last week, the Duma ratified the START-Two nuclear arms reduction treaty after years of delay. START-Two would see both Russia and the United States slash their nuclear arsenals almost in half. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is not an arms cutting agreement, but ratification serves to highlight Moscow's recent emphasis on nuclear control issues. Ratification also may give Moscow the upper hand when Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, flies to the United States to attend a United Nations conference on nuclear non-proliferation next week. /// Ivanov Act in Russian in full and fade under /// The foreign minister says, "The test ban treaty has been ratified by an overwhelming majority. This is an important step for both Russia and the world in that it will help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons." Last year, the U-S Senate refused to ratify the test ban treaty. The Senate ratified START-Two four years ago, but has not yet considered several changes to the treaty proposed by Russia. /// OPT /// The chief of the Duma's International Affairs Committee, Dimitry Rogozin, argued that by ratifying the test ban treaty, Russia would make it more difficult for the United States to move ahead with plans to alter the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The United States has said it may want to build a limited missile defense system -- a move Russia opposes. /// Rogozin Act in Russian in full and fade under /// Mr. Rogozin says, "The test ban treaty is in many ways connected to the A-B-M treaty. If we ratify the test ban treaty, then it will be harder for the United States to carry out tests on new nuclear weapons or technology." /// END OPT /// After years of Communist dominance in the Duma, Russia's newly elected parliament is now controlled by parties that support Mr. Putin and his Kremlin initiatives. Communist lawmakers failed to win enough votes to block approval of the test ban treaty just as they did last week when they were not able to block ratification of START-Two. Also Friday, Russia's top national security body, the Security Council, stamped its seal of approval on a new military doctrine boosting the defensive role of Russia's nuclear weapons. The doctrine is expected to update a 1993 version, arguing that Russia might not be able to ward off a large-scale conventional attack without using nuclear weapons. /// Opt /// Security Council Secretary Sergey Ivanov and other officials urged President-elect Putin to sign the doctrine. /// End Opt /// /// Ivanov Act in Russian in full and fade under /// Mr. Ivanov says, "the doctrine has a defensive nature and Russia is sticking to a peaceful course. However, Russia is going to secure its military interests using all forces, resources and means at its disposal." Some Western experts argue the new Russian doctrine is too confrontational. But president-elect Putin says a new strategy is a necessary response to a new international security environment, with last year's NATO strikes against Yugoslavia serving as one example. (Signed) NEB/EC/GE/JP 21-Apr-2000 09:53 AM EDT (21-Apr-2000 1353 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .