The Russian parliament has given its final rubber stamp to the first nuclear arms reduction treaty with Washington in nearly a decade.
The deal, which was also approved by the US Senate last month, commits the two former Cold War foes to a ceiling of just over 1,500 warheads each in seven years.
Approval by the upper house of parliament, which is dominated by the ruling United Russia party of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, was widely expected and follows yesterday’s successful vote in the State Duma.
The bill will now go to President Dmitry Medvedev for final ratification. He signed the treaty with his American counterpart Barack Obama in April, in a pact which appears to have reset ties between Moscow and Washington.