News / Europe

US: Tactical Nuclear Weapons Deal with Moscow Next

President Barack Obama shares a toast in the Oval Office with the members of his National Security Staff who worked on the New START nuclear arms control agreement, 22 Dec 2010
President Barack Obama shares a toast in the Oval Office with the members of his National Security Staff who worked on the New START nuclear arms control agreement, 22 Dec 2010

The Obama administration says limiting U.S. and Russian tactical nuclear weapons will be its next arms control goal after Wednesday's Senate ratification of the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Moscow. U.S. officials say they expect mutual strategic arms inspections, which stopped a year ago, to be underway again by April.

While still celebrating the Senate ratification vote, administration officials are already setting their sights on a new and possibly more difficult task - limiting U.S. and Russian stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons.

That broad category includes nuclear devices in the form of landmines, artillery shells, and short-range missile warheads, which are much smaller and pose a greater proliferation risk than the long range strategic arms covered in the New Start treaty.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoller said President Obama and U.S. Senators of both parties are keen to move on to tactical weapons.

"The Russians have a larger number than we do of these systems, and there has been some particular, I would say strong, urging from Capital Hill that we move out," said Gottemoller.  "Well, that is something that President Obama had already spoken about when he signed the (New Start) treaty in Prague in April of 2010. He said we would be moving on next to address reductions in tactical nuclear weapons and also in non-deployed nuclear weapons - that is, weapons in storage facilities."

Russia is believed to have several thousand tactical weapons while the United States may have fewer than one thousand, with only a fraction of those based in Europe.

Moscow has long insisted that all U.S. tactical weapons be removed from Europe before talks can begin. Gottemoeller said Russia may be softening its position on that, but she would not predict that negotiations on the issue will get underway  before the end of 2011.

Gottemoeller, the lead U.S. negotiator on the New Start treaty, said she expects Russian ratification of the accord to be completed by late January or early February, and said the critical process of mutual on-site inspections would begin 60 days after that.

Fifteen years of inspection visits to U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons sites ended with the expiration of the previous accord more than a year ago. Gottemoeller said further prolongation of the inspection lapse would have undermined mutual trust.

"It leads to worst-case planning. It leads to budgetary expenditures based on worst-case planning. And those are the kinds of concerns that were very, very important for our military," Gottemoller said. "So I'm frankly glad that we will be restoring the inspection regime, and be moving back to directly monitoring each others' strategic forces within 60 days of the entry-into-force of the New Start treaty."

The arms negotiator said the bruising partisan struggle over the treaty in the Senate, which ended with Wednesday's 71-to-26 vote may be helpful to long-range arms control efforts as it raised public interest in such issues and brought a new generation of U.S. Senators into the debate.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid