Obama calls on Republicans to cooperate in ratifying arms treaty with Russia
U.S. President Barack Obama called on the Senate Republicans to cooperate in the soonest ratification of a strategic arms reduction deal with Russia during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, RIA Novosti.
"The President had a good exchange with the Senate Republican Conference today [on Tuesday] about priorities for the balance of the year," the White House said in a statement on the results of the meeting.
The statement said the president asked Senate Republicans for their cooperation "in ratifying the START treaty that is central to our long-term security and efforts at nuclear non-proliferation."
The new Russian-U.S. arms reduction treaty, signed on April 8 in Prague, replaces the 1991 pact that expired in December last year. The deal is expected to bring Moscow and Washington to a new level of cooperation in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control.
U.S. President Barack Obama told his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on May 13 the United States had already submitted the document for ratification to the Senate.
The U.S. and Russian presidents earlier agreed that the ratification processes should be simultaneous. The Russian Parliament is expected to receive the treaty by the end of May.
The new treaty on strategic arms cuts stipulates that the number of nuclear warheads be reduced to 1,550 on each side over seven years, while the number of delivery vehicles, both deployed and non-deployed, must not exceed 800.