The new Russian-US strategic arms reduction deal, known as the START treaty, will be ratified by the end of 2010, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

The arms treaty, signed in April, is to be sanctioned simultaneously by the US Senate and the Russian parliament, according to RIA Novosti.

“We are committed to a simultaneous ratification process. We expect that the US will complete this process by the end of the year. In any case, we see efforts made in this direction by the administration and a number of influential senators,” Ryabkov said.

The prospects for the treaty’s ratification remained unclear because of strong Republican opposition in the Senate over concerns that it may weaken US anti-missile defences.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, have expressed their hopes that the pact will be approved.

US Vice-President Joe Biden said that the failure to pass the pact might endanger national security.

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“Without ratification of this treaty, we will have no Americans on the ground to inspect Russia’s nuclear activities, no verification regime to track Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal, less cooperation and no verified nuclear reductions,” he added.