News / USA

Obama: New Russia Treaty a 'National Security Imperative'

President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting about the new START Treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (r) looks on, 18 Nov 2010
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting about the new START Treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (r) looks on, 18 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Audio

President Barack Obama is mounting an all-out push for U.S. Senate ratification of the New START nuclear treaty with Russia, calling it crucial for U.S. national security. The president summoned a bipartisan group of former White House officials to help efforts to gain ratification before the end of the year.

Seated with the president were Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with the Democratic chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry and Richard Lugar.

Also there were former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, James Baker and Henry Kissinger, former defense secretaries William Cohen and William Perry, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Senator Sam Nunn.

Calling ratification a national security imperative, the president said failure to do so would endanger the entire U.S.-Russian verification framework.

"If we do not, then we do not have a verification regime. No inspectors, no insights into Russia's strategic arsenal, no framework for cooperation between the world's two nuclear superpowers."

New START was signed earlier this year to replace the expired START treaty.  It would reduce U.S. and Russian long-range nuclear arsenals by as much as one third and provide mechanisms for verification by both sides.

During his just-completed Asia trip, Mr. Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that achieving Senate approval is his top foreign policy priority.

Though it has broad bipartisan support, New START has faced resistance from Republicans, such as Senator Jon Kyl, who assert it would harm U.S. missile-defense efforts, and not allow for adequate U.S. verification of Russian compliance.

Saying arms control treaties have not traditionally been a partisan issue in Congress, Mr. Obama noted he agreed to add $4.1 billion to upgrade the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure, to address Republican concerns. Delay, he said, is not an option.

"This is not about politics, it is about national security. This is not a matter that can be delayed. Every month that goes by without a treaty means we are not able to verify what is going on, on the ground, in Russia. And if we delay indefinitely, American leadership on nonproliferation and America's national security will be weakened."

New START ratification also is an important part of the president's "reset" of relations with Russia. Mr. Obama linked the treaty to a range of other issues, including Moscow's support for sanctions against Iran, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, securing vulnerable nuclear materials, and steps to enhance European security.

Senate ratification requires 67 votes in the 100 seat chamber where Democrats still hold a majority. When a new Congress convenes next year, Democrats would need to obtain the support of at least 14 Senate Republicans.

President Obama said he has assigned Vice President Biden to undertake a day-and-night effort to ensure that New START is ratified, adding he is confident in being able to get the Senate votes needed for ratification.



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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
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 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 ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid