News / USA

Obama, Medvedev Sign Treaty To Cut Nuclear Weapons

Multimedia

David Dyar

With a signed nuclear arms reduction treaty in hand, President Barack Obama is working to convince skeptics of its merits. Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new START treaty on Thursday.

President Obama's effort to promote the accord began almost immediately after he and Mr. Medvedev signed it.

In the Czech capital's presidential castle, Mr. Obama said Thursday the new START treaty will cut U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads by 25 to 30 percent, and will lead to talks on deeper nuclear reductions. "This treaty will set the stage for further cuts, and going forward, we hope to pursue further discussions with Russia on reducing both our strategic and tactical weapons, including non-deployed weapons," he said.

Mr. Medvedev called the agreement a win-win situation for Americans, Russians and the world. "Both parties have won, and taking into account this victory of ours, the entire world community has won," he said.

The new treaty replaces the 1991 START-I treaty, which expired in December.  

The signing took place days after Mr. Obama announced a major change in U.S. nuclear policy.  In his nuclear posture review, the president declared that the main focus of Washington's nuclear policy is now nuclear terrorism and proliferation, not potential nuclear war between nations.

Tom Collina, research director at the Arms Control Association, says the treaty and the policy shift are welcome developments.

"We think we can even go to deeper reductions and we hope they sign a new treaty after this one relatively soon.  But this treaty is a great step forward," said Tom Collina. "It is very important.  And it puts U.S. and Russian arms control back on a firm footing.  And again, [it] sets us up for deeper cuts."

Mr. Obama and top Democrats in the Senate are working to persuade Republican Senators to vote for the treaty.  Republicans have been solid in their opposition to many of the president's proposals, but the administration says a yes vote is in the nation's security interests.

Some Republicans share the view of former Reagan administration nuclear adviser Frank Gaffney, who sees the president's nuclear policy shift as a unilateral disarmament. "It is happening at time when no other nuclear nation in the world is unable to produce nuclear weapons or has voluntarily said it will not.  No other nuclear nation in the world is going to allow its inventory of nuclear capabilities to atrophy.  And there are other nations in the world who do not have nuclear weapons who are going to get them," he said.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, says he plans to begin hearings on the treaty in the coming weeks. In a written statement, the Democratic Senator said he hopes to send it to the full Senate for approval as soon as possible.  The president said he hopes to have the treaty approved by the end of the year.

Later Thursday, Mr. Obama focused his efforts on winning over skeptical Europeans. He finished the day at a dinner with 11 Central and European heads of state, some of whom may be concerned about Russia's influence in the region.   

The president will meet one-on-one  with Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus Friday, before returning to Washington.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid