Treaty to cut US-Russia nukes; signing in 2 weeks
By ROBERT BURNS and LYNN BERRY, Associated Press Writers Robert Burns And Lynn Berry, Associated Press Writers – Wed Mar 24, 9:26 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The U.S. and Russia reached a breakthrough agreement Wednesday for a historic treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the former Cold War rivals, the most significant pact in a generation and an important milestone in the decades-long quest to lower the risk of global nuclear war.
After long and trying negotiations, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are to sign the treaty in two weeks in Prague, once final technical details are worked out, officials in Washington and Moscow said. The accord is expected to cut the number of long-range nuclear weapons held by each side to about 1,500, and it raises hopes for further disarmament in the years ahead.
The deal is seen as sealing an increased level of trust and cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, who possess the vast majority of the world's nuclear arms and have labored under strained relations in recent years.
Obama and Medvedev are expected to seal the deal when they talk by telephone this week, setting the stage for a White House campaign to win Senate ratification. The treaty also must win approval by the Russian Duma, and the two legislative processes are likely to take months.