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Russia/U.S.: Defense Secretary Perry To Speak To Duma Next Week

Washington, 11 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry will leave for Moscow Tuesday for talks with Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and a meeting with members of the Russian parliament, says the U.S. Defense Department.

Perry is due to hold talks with Rodionov on Wednesday and Thursday. Also on Thursday, he is scheduled to meet with members of the foreign, defense and security committees of the Duma to encourage ratification on an international nuclear weapons reduction treaty that mandates large cuts in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.

A U.S. Defense Department official who spoke to reporters today on condition his name not be used says the discussions in Moscow about ratification by the Russian parliament of the treaty -- called START Two -- have become "very politicized." The official says many of the Russian deputies who have denounced the treaty "know very little about it."

U.S. officials say Perry plans to present the parliamentarians with his view of how the treaty will enhance the security and stability of Russia and the United States.