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Arms Control Experts Praise Signing of New START with Russia
WASHINGTON - April 8 - Early this morning, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the most significant nuclear reductions treaty in decades between the United States and Russia.
The signing ceremony took place in Prague, Czech Republic, the location of President Obama's April 2009 historic speech on nuclear weapons.
"The signing of this treaty is a huge step forward in advancing the bipartisan nuclear security agenda that the President outlined in Prague in April 2009 to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons," said the Center's Executive Director John Isaacs. "We welcome the announcement of the completion of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to reduce the numbers of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia."
The "Prague Agenda" included three primary objectives: reduce and eventually eliminate the 23,000 nuclear weapons remaining in the world, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons to new states, and secure nuclear weapons-usable materials to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. Nuclear reductions by the United States and Russia are they key to moving forward on the first goal.
"This agreement gets the United States back on track towards meaningful, legally-binding, verifiable nuclear arms control. It gets us back on track toward reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the two countries that currently possess more than 90% of those remaining in the world," added Leonor Tomero, the Center's director of nuclear non-proliferation. "It is a key element of the President's efforts to effectively address the most pressing security threat to the United States: the proliferation of nuclear weapons."
In addition to guiding the reduction of the United States' and Russia's deployed strategic nuclear weapons, New START provides the verification procedures necessary to ensure both nations comply.
"The sooner the treaty enters into force, the sooner important verification procedures can be up and running again. We look for a Senate vote on the treaty this year," added Isaacs.