News / USA

Europeans, Russia Urge US Senate to Ratify START Treaty

From left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates are seen prior to participating in a NATO Russia Council meeting at a NATO summit in Lisbon on Saturday Nov. 20, 2010.
From left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates are seen prior to participating in a NATO Russia Council meeting at a NATO summit in Lisbon on Saturday Nov. 20, 2010.
Lisa Bryant

Europeans urged early ratification of a nuclear reduction treaty between the United States and Russia during a NATO summit in Lisbon amid announcements that Moscow would begin working with NATO on missile defense.

After receiving strong support from NATO partners for the START treaty, along with endorsement from top military figures and former administration officials, President Barack Obama told reporters in Lisbon there was no good reason why the U.S. Senate should not now ratify the treaty. "And my hope is we will do so. There's no other reason not to do it other than the fact that Washington has become a very partisan place and this is a classic area where we have to rise above partisanship," he said.

Republican senators have been reluctant to endorse the deal, with a key Republican lawmaker saying they needed more time. But a number of European countries, along with Russia, say it is critical the treaty is ratified in a timely manner. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that European security was at stake.

Rasmussen also announced that Russia had agreed to cooperate with NATO on missle defense.  He called the agreement a turning point in once-hostile NATO-Russian relations that were most recently strained over Georgia. "The practical benefits are clear. By exchanging information that we share, a bigger, wider picture of the skies above Europe we get more warning of a threat and we could, conceivably, even cooperate eventually in shooting down an incoming missile," he said.

In later remarks to the press, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stopped short of fully endorsing the Europe-U.S. missle defense shield which would protect Europe against missile attack possibly from Iran. Mr. Medvedev said Russia was awaiting more details about the missile shield and would only cooperate as a full partner.

Separately, Mr. Obama did not close the door to a continued U.S. combat presence in Afghanistan after 2014, despite NATO's agreement to hand over full security responsibility to Afghans by the end of that year. "Certainly our footprint will have been significantly reduced. But beyond that, it's hard to anticipate what is going to be necessary to keep the American people safe as of 2014. I'll make that determination when I get there," he said.

Mr. Obama expressed satisfaction about new commitments by NATO partners to send trainers to beef up Afghan security forces, including some from Canada and Italy.

President Obama said the United States will be hosting the next NATO summit in 2012.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs