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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More