News / Europe

Obama Presses for US-Russia Nuclear Pact

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, meets with U. S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, 14 Nov 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, meets with U. S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, 14 Nov 2010

Republican senators continue to express misgivings about a new nuclear-arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia.  The comments follow President Barack Obama's assurances to his Russian counterpart that Senate ratification of the New START treaty will be a top priority in an end-of-year session of the U.S. Congress.

President Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the just-concluded Asia-Pacific economic summit in Japan.  Earlier this year, the two men signed the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which would cut nuclear weapons stockpiles by as much as a third.

Mr. Obama promised an energetic lobbying effort to secure ratification of the pact.

"I reiterated my commitment to get the START treaty done during the lame duck session and I have communicated to Congress that it is a top priority," he said.

The U.S. constitution mandates the Senate must ratify foreign treaties before they go into effect.  Beginning next year, Democrats will have a greatly-reduced majority in the Senate, which could complicate ratification, unless the treaty is approved in the final weeks of this year.

Appearing on ABC's This Week program, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was asked if he intends to vote for ratification.

"In its current condition, no.  You have two impediments,"  Modernization - not only do we need a START treaty, we need to modernize our nuclear force, the weapons that are left to make sure they continue to be a deterrent.  And we need to make sure we can deploy missile-defense systems that are apart from START.  So there are two stumbling blocks."

In a bid to remove at least one stumbling block, administration officials say they would consider additional funds to maintain and modernize the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Also appearing on This Week, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the New START treaty must not be allowed to languish.

"First of all, it is a good treaty.  We remember [former] President [Ronald] Reagan saying 'trust but verify'.  And what has happened is that the verification procedures have not been in place for almost a year," she said.  "So we need the treaty for that [verification].  Plus, the relationship with the Russians is very important.  They have been very helpful on Iran.  And I hope very much that the lame-duck session [of Congress] recognizes the importance of the treaty."

The U.S. Congress returns to work Monday.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid