The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kevin M. Martin, Executive Director, 301.565.4050 x 307, 301.537.8244 cell,
Paul Kawika Martin, Political Director, 951.217.7285 cell,

Largest Peace Group Reacts to Obama's Russian Deals


Peace Action, the nation's largest peace organization, commented on the announced agreements between Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev. Kevin Martin, the group's executive director, stated:

"It's good to see the U.S. and Russia making progress on nuclear arms reductions again, and the Obama's Administration's overall priority on rebuilding a positive relationship with Russia is extremely important. However, the announced reductions are fairly modest. The conventional wisdom is that these proposed cuts are the best that can be accomplished right now, but the two countries could go further and announce the initiation of negotiations to eliminate all nuclear weapons, which would be accomplished in stages over the next ten years or so.

"Clearly, two ongoing sticking points are Star Wars, so-called "missile defense," and NATO expansion. Unless the U.S. moves toward Russia's position on those issues, gaining the close cooperation the U.S. needs from Russia on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues will be very difficult.

"Instead of sending more troops and military supplies through Russia, the U.S. and international community should increase funding for Afghan-led humanitarian aid, development work, and landmine clean up while supporting regional diplomacy. Peace Action calls for an immediate halt to air and Predator drone strikes that kill, injure and traumatize innocent civilians and drive people to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda."

Peace Action was founded over 50 years ago to abolish nuclear weapons and holds leadership roles in several coalitions working on disarmament issues and progressive foreign policy, including chairing a group of over 80 leaders working to change U.S. policy in the Afghanistan region.

Peace Action is the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.