News / USA

    Obama, Medvedev Set April Signing for New Strategic Arms Pact

    Multimedia

    Audio

    President Barack Obama says the new nuclear arms reduction treaty agreed to with Russia after intense negotiations over the last year sends a strong signal that both nations are taking the lead in reducing nuclear weapons.  The president and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev set an April 8 date in Prague to sign the treaty, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons on each side by about one-third.

    Addressing reporters in the White House briefing room, President Obama said the agreement moves the world closer to the goal of a more secure future without such weapons, which he said represent both the darkest days of the Cold War, and the most troubling threats of our time.

    "Today, we've taken another step forward by - in leaving behind the legacy of the 20th century while building a more secure future for our children," said President Obama.

    Earlier in the day, the president spoke by phone with Russian President Medvedev, which the White House noted was the 14th direct meeting or phone conversation on the new treaty.

    The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed in 1991, expired in December, and President Obama set the goal of achieving a new treaty as one of his major priorities.

    The new agreement would reduce the number of strategic nuclear arms of both sides by one-third and provide for full verification and monitoring.

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that while no one expects the world will achieve the goal of "zero nuclear weapons" anytime soon, the new treaty is a major step toward greater security with fewer nuclear weapons:

    "It is clear that we can accomplish goals with fewer nuclear weapons," said Robert Gates. "The reductions in this treaty will not affect the strength of our nuclear triad, nor does this treaty limit plans to protect the U.S. and our allies by improving and deploying missile defense systems."

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the new treaty is also a major step in the goal of "resetting" the U.S.-Russia relationship, which includes efforts to deal with nuclear proliferation and terrorism.

    "We were committed from the beginning to reset the U.S.- Russia relationship because we saw it as essential to making progress on our top priorities, from counter-terrorism, to nuclear security and nonproliferation," said Hillary Clinton.

    Secretary Clinton said the U.S and Russia will continue to have disagreements, but added the treaty is an example of deep and substantive cooperation on a matter of vital importance.

    The treaty will have to be ratified both by Russia's Parliament and the U.S. Senate, something President Obama and his administration are committed to achieving.

    The president met this week with two lawmakers who will play a key role in this, Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar, the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as Mr. Obama hopes to pave the way for action in the coming months.

    House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman voiced hope the new treaty will set an example for other nuclear powers and help strengthen global nonproliferation efforts "severely threatened" by Iranian and North Korean efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

    Asked what the new treaty means for U.S-Russia cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue, Secretary Clinton referred to recent in depth consultations.  She said there will be increasing activity in the very near future aimed at achieving the votes needed in the U.N. Security Council for a package of sanctions on Iran.

    In Russia, the announcement on the nuclear arms treaty was made by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a live nationwide television statement.  

    You May Like

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Foreign Media in Pyongyang Barred From North Korean Party Congress

    Hundreds of international journalists invited to cover historic party meeting barred from entering actual event

    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.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora