US ratifies nuclear weapons reduction treaty. On Wednesday, December 22, just days before the end of their 2010 session, legislators in the US Senate voted to approve the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow at the US Independent Institute (e) : This is a major treaty since arms control treaties are the most important treaties that the U.S. signs, and particularly with Russia. So I think in the end they [US Senators] want to be part of history and on the right side of history.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Taking steps to eliminate the threat of the use of WMDs is our duty.
Greg Thielmann, senior fellow, Arms Control Association: The US and Russia have 90% of all of the world’s nuclear weapons. By showing that they are taking another step towards significant reductions; this does put pressure on the others to become more transparent and to be more willing to engage on what they can do to move towards nuclear disarmament.
The terms of the New START accord, which was originally signed by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April, include both countries eliminating 30% of their nuclear weapons stockpiles. Also passed was a bill to provide medical care for firefighters and other first responders to the 9-11 tragedy. As President Obama commended the New START decision, Russian President Medvedev called on countries around the world to work toward full disarmament.
Our accolades and appreciation, United States government, for this important peace-advancing legislation. We also thank Your Excellencies of the US and Russia as we join in wishing the day to come soon that people across the globe may live in harmonious safety and respect.