Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The historic agreement started on June 17, 1992 with the signing of a 'Joint Understanding' by the presidents. The official signing of the treaty by the presidents took place on January 3, 1993. . It was ratified by the US Senate on January 26, 1996 with a vote of 87-4. However, the ratification of the treaty remained held up in the Russian Duma for many years. There the ratification was postponed a number of times to protest American military actions in Iraq and Kosova, as well as to oppose the expansion of NATO.
As the years passed, the treaty became less relevant and both sides started to loose interest in it. For the Americans, the main issue became the modification of the ABM treaty to allow the US to deploy a ballistic missile defence system, a move which Russia fiercely opposed. On April 14, 2000 the Duma did finally ratify the treaty, in a largely symbolic move since the ratification was made contingent on preserving the ABM treaty, which it was clear the US was not prepared to do.
The treaty was officially bypassed by SORT treaty, agreed to by presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin at their summit meeting in November, 2001, and signed at Moscow Summit on May 24, 2002. There both sides agreed to abandon the previous arms treaty approach, with its careful limitations on numbers of specific weapons, and instead pledged to make unilateral cuts in the total number of warheads.
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