Final steps to START

The Russian government has approved the new nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US. The START agreement now has to be ratified by Russia’s State Duma.

The document is also up for ratification in the US senate, where discussions are ongoing. The White House says it hopes the treaty will come into force by the end of the year.

The deal cuts the nuclear stockpiles of the two world’s major nuke-possessing countries by about a third.

The document was inked by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama in Prague in April, after months of negotiations.