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 Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid