Clinton urges U.S. Senate to ratify nuclear arms treaty

09:16, June 18, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged the Senate to ratify the new nuclear arms treaty reached with Russia, trying hard to ease the Republican concerns that it might hamper U.S. missile defense buildup.

Clinton made the testament before the Senate Armed Services Committee, alongside Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.

The Russian government had said that it reserves the right to withdraw from the treaty if it feels threatened by U.S. missile defense system, which has raised concerns among Republicans.

But Clinton argued that "a unilateral statement made by Russia concerning missile defense does not limit or constrain our missile- defense efforts."

She said a U.S. statement on the treaty made it clear that "the United States intends to continue improving and deploying its missile-defense systems in order to defend itself against limited attack."

Clinton strongly believed that the new treaty will make U.S. " more secure" and urged the Senate to ratify it "expeditiously."

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new nuclear arms treaty on April 8 which replaces the START treaty that has expired in December.

Under the new pact, the two countries agreed to reduce their deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 each, or 30 percent below the current level of 2,200.

The Democrats need support from the Republicans as the treaty needs 67 votes from the Senate to be ratified.

Source: Xinhua


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