Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev To Sign Nuclear Weapon Treaty
The United States and Russia, through Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will sign a nuclear disarmament treaty on Thursday to reduce stockpiles by 30 per cent. This will bring it to its lowest levels in 40 years.
The two presidents will meet in Prague to put their names to a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired last December, after months of negotiations.
The new deal will specify limits of 1,550 deployed warheads and will limit missile stocks to 800 deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear weapons.
The agreement includes a legal framework regulating US and Russian strategic forces that includes verification and transparency measures which will analysts said would give Washington unprecedented knowledge of Russia’s firepower.
The original 1991 START led to huge reductions in the Russian and US nuclear arsenals and imposed verification measures to build trust between the two former Cold War foes.
Mr Obama made replacing START the central element of his efforts to “reset” strained US-Russian relations, and has put nuclear non-proliferation at the heart of his foreign policy, initiatives that helped earn him the much-disputed Nobel Peace Prize.
Prague was chosen as the venue of today’s signing after he launched his vision of a nuclear-free world there in a speech a year ago.
The president will next week host a nuclear security summit of 40 nations focused on developing an action plan to ensure that all fissile material highly-enriched uranium and plutonium is kept under secure conditions within four years.
On Tuesday he unveiled a new nuclear policy that reduced the role of atomic weapons in the US national security strategy, and guaranteed that the US would not use nuclear weapons in response to a biological weapons attack.