US, Russia agree to nuclear arms reduction treaty

The US and Russia have reached an agreement for the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty since 1991, officials said Feb. 1. The landmark treaty, which will replace the recently expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), will include significant reductions in both the number of deployed nuclear weapons as well as the number of nuclear-delivery systems. US Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller is in Paris to finalize the treaty after an agreement in principle was reached last week between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Both US and Russia officials have recently expressed desire to have the treaty in place prior to the upcoming Global Nuclear Security Summit in April, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May. Nuclear disarmament between the US and Russia—whose nuclear arsenals comprise 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons—languished during the Bush administration. The treaty is considered a key part of easing tensions between the former Cold War rivals, which escalated following the 2008 Georgia conflict. (Jurist, Feb. 3)

See our last post on the nuclear threat.

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