The US president's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has admitted that president of Russia Vladimir Putin has succeeded in convincing US president George Bush to change his initial stand on reduction of arms and to agree that this process be "coded" and become a legally binding document. Rice said this in an interview with the P.B.S. TV company. At first the head of the White House believed that Russia and the USA did not need a treaty, since "we have entered a new phase of Russo-US relations", but then, having heard out Putin's arguments, Bush agreed that a treaty which will outlive their Presidencies is needed, the US president's adviser emphasized. On Monday the chairman of the influential Senate foreign affairs committee, Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, Jr., circulated in Washington a statement in which he welcomed George Bush's intention to submit the new Russian-US treaty to the Senate of the US Congress for official ratification. Backing by at least two-thirds of the Senate votes is needed to do that.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969