New START on arms reduction

08 April 2010

The world's two major nuclear arsenals are to be cut following the US-Russia treaty signed off today in Prague.


The Presidents of both nations signed a treaty today that will see their deployed nuclear warheads cut to 1550 each, split across various delivery systems. The figure represents a 30% cut from the 2002 Treaty of Moscow and a 74% cut compared to the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement of 1991.


Obama and Medvedev in Prague (Kremlin)
Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev (Image: Kremlin)

Reductions need to be made within seven years of the treaty entering into force, after ratification by both countries' legislators. After that it will remain in force for ten years, with the possibility of a five-year extension.


Signing the treaty in the Czech capital, Prague, follows on from President Barack Obama's speech there one year ago in which he called for a new era in nuclear diplomacy. He and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have since 'reset' relations between their countries, which are no longer enemies, but not yet friends.


The treaty text speaks of "a new strategic relationship based on mutual trust, openness, predictability and cooperation" and a desire to "reduce the role and importance of nuclear weapons." The parties will be able to monitor each others' compliance using on-site inspections and data exchanges.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News