Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have signed a nuclear arms-cutting pact today in Prague. They’ve agreed to cut their nuclear arsenals by a third while cutting the number of bombers, submarines and missiles that carry the nukes in half
In a lavish chamber within the Czech capital’s presidential castle complex, the two presidents put their names to history. The treaty must be now be ratified by Russia’s parliament and by the U.S. Senate, where the White House lobbying effort is under way.
“Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations,” Obama said. Medvedev hailed the signing as a historic event that would launch a new chapter of cooperation between the countries.
The new treaty will shrink the limit of nuclear warheads to 1,550 per country over seven years. That still allows for mutual destruction several times over. But it is intended to send a strong signal that Russia and the U.S. – which between them own more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons – are serious about disarmament.
“The result we have obtained is good,” Medvedev said.