President Barack Obama delivers brief remarks about the new START Treaty during a news conference with (L-R) Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the White House March 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. Gates, Clinton and Mullen answered reporters' questions about the new treaty with Russia.
President Obama finalized a new arms control treaty with Russia on Friday that will pare back the still-formidable cold war nuclear arsenals of each country. The agreement brings to fruition one of the president’s signature foreign policy objectives, just days after he signed into law the most expansive domestic program in decades.
Ending a year of sometimes topsy-turvy negotiations, Mr. Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia sealed the deal in a morning telephone call, confirming resolution of the last outstanding details. They then announced they will fly to Prague to sign the treaty on April 8 in a ceremony designed to showcase improved relations between the two countries.
“With this agreement, the United States and Russia, the two largest nuclear powers in the world, also send a clear signal that we intend to lead,” Mr. Obama said, appearing in front of reporters at the White House to announce the agreement. “By upholding our own commitments under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities.”