Obama offers condolences over Russian mine accident

Obama offers condolences over Russian mine accident
# 13 May 2010 20:23 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. U.S. President Barack Obama offered on Thursday his condolences to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over the recent tragedy at a coal mine in West Siberia, the Kremlin said, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.
Two explosions, which occurred in the space of four hours late on Saturday and early on Sunday, killed at least 66 people and injured over a hundred. A search for 24 missing miners is still underway.
The Kremlin also said Medvedev and Obama discussed a wide range of bilateral and international issues in a phone call on Thursday.
The conversation, which lasted 90 minutes, included the ratification of a recent strategic arms reduction treaty between Moscow and Washington.
The new START treaty, signed on April 8 in Prague, must be approved by both houses of the Russian parliament and by the U.S. Senate to come into force.
Obama informed Medvedev that the White House had sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that a package of documents related to the treaty would be submitted soon to the lower house of parliament.
Both presidents earlier agreed that the ratification of the treaty must occur simultaneously.
Experts believe that the ratification process in the United States could meet strong opposition from Republican lawmakers who want to press the administration to commit to modernizing the U.S. nuclear forces while the reductions are underway.