Tags: senate nuclear russia

Senate Nuke Pact Boosts US-Russia Ties

Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 08:28 AM


WASHINGTON -- The new U.S-Russian arms control agreement is more important for the diplomatic bargain it seals with a restive Russia than the limits it places on weapons that neither side was likely to use - treaty or no treaty, according to The Washington Post.

Despite skepticism from Republican opponents who worry that the U.S. is deliberately fraying its nuclear advantage, the Obama administration considers the pact a disarmament bargain because it will probably help cinch Russian cooperation with an American plan to protect Europe with an anti-missile shield arrayed against Iran.

The Senate voted 71-26 on Wednesday to ratify the treaty, and Russian legislative approval is expected quickly. The Senate approval was a clear victory for the White House after weeks in which it seemed doubtful that President Barack Obama could muster enough Republican votes. Obama had called approval of the treaty his highest foreign policy priority this year.

"This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades," Obama said shortly after the Senate approved the deal. He asserted that the treaty "will make us safer" and allow U.S. inspectors to return to Russian nuclear bases.

"We'll continue to advance our relationship with Russia, which is essential to making progress on a host of challenges," Obama added.

The pact, called New START, is the centerpiece of a mutual U.S.-Russian effort to repair relations badly damaged during the latter years of the George W. Bush administration.

Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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