Friday, December 4, 2009

START Ends But New Nuclear Arms Treaty Expected

Via Times Online UK -

It was supposed to be the centrepiece of President Obama’s attempt to reset relations between the US and Russia. Instead, an agreement to cut nuclear weapon arsenals was overshadowed by a scramble to prevent the collapse of an existing arms treaty.

Late-night bargaining in Geneva between US and Russian negotiators failed to produce an agreement to replace the landmark 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expired today. Its demise meant the collapse of the system for monitoring the two largest nuclear stockpiles in the world.

As hopes for a breakthrough faded Mr Obama and President Medvedev rushed out declarations that they would remain bound by the the treaty until they agreed on its replacement.

In a joint statement released by the Kremlin they said that Russia and the US would continue to work “in the spirit” of the treaty. The Kremlin said that Mr Medvedev and Mr Obama had spoken by telephone about the state of the negotiations, adding that they expected the draft treaty to be ready soon.

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