News / USA

Obama Presses Lawmakers on New Arms Treaty With Russia

President Barack Obama speaks about his meeting with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders, 30 Nov 2010
President Barack Obama speaks about his meeting with Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders, 30 Nov 2010

In his talks on Tuesday with congressional lawmakers, President Obama reiterated the importance of achieving U.S. Senate ratification of the new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. Reporters asked the president's spokesman about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's remarks on Tuesday concerning missile defense plans for Europe.

The Russian leader warned of a new weapons race if Russia and NATO are unable to agree on a new missile defense shield for Europe, and spoke of what he called deployment of a new means of attack, without elaborating.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that in Obama's meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, he spoke about great progress made with Moscow on missile defense, which he noted had previously been such a difficult issue in U.S.-Russian relations.

"What had been a contentious issue just several years ago now is part of an agreement with NATO with the cooperation of Russia.  I think there has been an acknowledgment that we have made, both parties have had a priority on protecting our friends and allies in Europe and obviously the U.S. and our agreements in Lisbon made concrete years of effort into a missile defense apparatus that provides greater protection for Europe and for the United States," he said.

Gibbs repeated essentially the same answer when asked by a Russian reporter about Russian views, in the wake of agreements announced at the NATO summit in Lisbon, about the ability of the U.S. to be a real partner.

However, asked specifically about President Medvedev's remark about a new Russian strike capability in the event of failure to agree on missile defense arrangements, Gibbs said Russia would have to provide clarification on that.

In his talks with Republican lawmakers, President Obama again pressed for quick approval by the U.S. Senate of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.

Gibbs said Obama made the point that ratification made sense for U.S. national security and relations with Russia, which include Moscow's cooperation on such issues as sanctions against Iran, and North Korea. "Obviously the reduction in deployed nuclear weapons that we all know is a danger, and our efforts in the world to continue to press on Iran and others, like North Korea, for the strongest possible sanctions, how all those efforts work multilaterally," he said.

In his remarks after his meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday, President Obama said he reminded them the New START treaty has already been thoroughly vetted by Congress. "It is absolutely essential to our national security. We need to get it done," he said.

President Obama's spokesman had no immediate detailed response to another question on Tuesday about a Wall Street Journal report saying the U.S. believes Russia has moved short-range tactical nuclear warheads to facilities closer to NATO allies in Europe.

The newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying the action appeared to run counter to Russian pledges made as early as 1991 to withdraw such weapons from frontier positions and to reduce their numbers.

Gibbs referred to the fact that tactical weapons are not covered under the New START treaty which deals with launchers and deployed deployed missile capabilities.

The initial Wall Street Journal report said there was no immediate official Russian comment on the paper's report. Bloomberg news agency quoted Mikhail Margelov, head of the upper house of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, as dismissing the report.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
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 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 Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
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 Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
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.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid