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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid