Obama, Russian Prez Finalizing Arms Reduction Pact

The two presidents plan to sign the nuclear arms reduction pact in Prague next month.

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President Obama and Dmitry Medvedev are all about nuclear arms reduction (especially if they don't like you). They're so into it in fact, they plan on signing an arms reduction pact in Prague next month.

After long and trying negotiations, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are to sign the treaty in two weeks in Prague, once final technical details are worked out, officials in Washington and Moscow said Wednesday. The accord is expected to cut the number of long-range nuclear weapons held by each side to about 1,500, and it raises hopes for further disarmament in the years ahead.

The deal is seen as sealing an increased level of trust and cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, who possess the vast majority of the world's nuclear arms and have labored under strained relations in recent years.

Obama and Medvedev are expected to seal the deal when they talk by telephone this week, setting the stage for a White House campaign to win Senate ratification. The treaty also must win approval by the Russian Duma, and the two legislative processes are likely to take months.

Robert S. Norris, a longtime analyst of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, said Senate ratification would not be easy.

"Hard negotiations with the Russians will now be followed by hard negotiations with Republican senators to achieve ratification," Norris said.

Continue reading from the SOURCE: THE SEATTLE TIMES