The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Travis Sharp,,
202-543-4100 ext. 2105l;
or Leonor

Expiration of START Treaty Expected, No Reason to Panic


Tomorrow's expiration of the 1991
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which contains legally-binding
verification measures, should be looked at in the broader context of
negotiations with Russia on a soon-to-be finalized "New START"
agreement, experts at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation said

In a joint
released Friday, the United States and Russia pledged "to
continue to work together in the spirit of the START Treaty following its
as well as our firm intention to ensure that a new treaty on strategic arms
enter into force at the earliest possible date

John Isaacs, Executive
Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said: "The expiration was expected, which is why the Obama
administration has strongly pushed to finalize negotiations on New START

Isaacs added: "Even though there
will be no replacement by December 5, there is no reason to panic since both
sides are actively finalizing a new treaty."

Leonor Tomero,
Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, noted: "Once New START is signed, both sides will be obligated under
international law not to take any action contrary to its provisions, even if New
START does not enter into force for a few months

Tomero added: "Let's not
lose track of the significant progress that is being made on verifiable, legally-binding
reductions that will both lessen the danger posed by nuclear weapons and strengthen
U.S.-Russian relations

Once New START is submitted to Congress, the U.S. Senate will consider
whether or not to consent to ratification. A vote is expected sometime in the
spring, and 67 votes are required for approval.

For more information, visit the
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation's START Briefing Book:

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.