Obama signs nuclear arms agreement with Russia
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a new nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia that requires both sides to reduce their arsenal of warheads by roughly one-third of current levels, dpa reported.
Obama signed ratification documents for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, with little fanfare at a private event at the White House. Only photographers were present.
Obama views the treaty as a cornerstone for resetting relations with Russia after years of tension, and as a key source of stability. Once in effect, both sides will be able to monitor each other's nuclear weapons stockpiles.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed ratification documents on Friday, two days after it was approved by the Duma's upper chamber. The US Senate voted to ratify the accord on December 22.
New START will come into force this weekend in Munich, when US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to exchange ratification documents, the US State Department said.
The two diplomats will meet on the sidelines of an annual security conference in the southern German city.
New START requires the two countries to reduce warhead arsenals to 1,550, or 30 per cent fewer than a 1991 accord that expired in December 2009.