US-Russia Nuclear Reduction Agreement an 'Important Step Forward'

Thursday, 01 April 2010 00:00 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Editorial Dept - Science

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation today welcomed the announcement of a new treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and Russia.

While exact details of the new agreement are not yet known, it is reassuring to see that the two countries are moving ahead with nuclear reductions after years of no progress.

However, two major obstacles remain to full cooperation between the two countries on nuclear disarmament. First, the two sides still strongly disagree on the US missile defense plans, which would put missiles and radar installations close to the Russian border. It appears that the two countries have been able to work around the issue in this new treaty, but resolution of this issue is essential to making further progress toward nuclear weapon-free world.

Second, the US Senate must ratify the new treaty with at least 67 votes. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation urges the Senate to ratify this new treaty without conditions that would undermine the disarmament progress that has been made. Some senators want to invest billions of dollars in new nuclear weapons production facilities in exchange for a “Yes” vote on ratification.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “This new treaty is an important step toward President Obama’s stated goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. After this agreement is fully implemented, however, there will still be sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy civilization and most life on the planet. We will still be living with the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons, which requires us now to put the issue of a Nuclear Weapons Convention at the forefront of the debate.”

In a briefing booklet just published by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the Foundation calls on all signatory states of the NPT to commence “negotiations in good faith on a Nuclear Weapons Convention for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons, and complete these negotiations by the year 2015.”

Dr. Krieger continued, “We believe that the time is right for the US and Russia to play a leadership role in bringing the other countries of the world into negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.”

Image Courtesy of DayLife - US President Barack Obama gives an unscheduled press briefing at the White House as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates look on in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2010. The United States and Russia concluded on March 26 a landmark nuclear arms treaty which imposes sweeping cuts on deployed Cold War-era nuclear warheads and missiles, the White House said. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev concluded the deal to replace the START nuclear treaty in a telephone call Friday and will sign the new pact in Prague on April 8. - Getty Images


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