Nuclear disarmament deal with Russia faces obstacle in U.S. Senate

10:03, April 01, 2010      

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After a landmark agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce both nations' nuclear stockpiles, President Barack Obama faces the challenge of convincing the Senate to ratify the treaty.

Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed on Friday to sign the new arms control treaty, which would reduce the nuclear arsenals of each country and mark what Obama billed as a pivotal step toward ending the threat of nuclear weapons in the world, a plan he first voiced in a speech in Prague last April, just months after taking office.

"Today, we have taken another step forward in leaving behind the legacy of the 20th century while building a more secure future for our children," Obama told reporters on Friday morning.

The new treaty limits both Russia and the United States to 1, 550 strategic warheads each, as well limiting deployed bombers able to carry nuclear weapons, submarine-based ballistic missile launchers and intercontinental ballistic missile launchers to a total of 800.

The new treaty will reduce by 30 percent to 40 percent the amount of Russian nuclear weapons that could be used against the United States. Under the previous treaty, 1,600 launchers and 6, 000 warheads were permitted for each country.


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