Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja on the decision of the Russian State Duma to ratify START II

In the view of Finland it is a very positive development that the Russian State Duma has ratified today START II and cut the knot that had for a long time slowed down the nuclear disarmament process between the US and the Russian Federation. The ratification opens possibilities for an early commencement of negotiations on START III that would include transparency measures on tactical nuclear weapons. This transparency would also serve the security interests of the Nordic area. The ratification of START II is also welcome in the light of the NPT Review Conference that will be opened after Easter