- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
U.S., Russia nearing new arms treaty
PARIS | The first major U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty in nearly two decades should be ready for signing by the end of March, a senior Russian legislator said.
President Obama’s top arms control official, Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, also commenting on the talks toward a successor agreement to the now-expired 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), said these are “in the endgame.”
U.S. and Russian officials said last year that they would sign a new treaty by the end of December, but talks have dragged on.
Moscow and Washington both want to reach a new accord as quickly as possible to give credibility to their efforts to persuade Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear programs.
START required each country to cut nuclear warheads by about one-fourth to about 6,000 and implement procedures for verifying the reductions. Mr. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed in July to cut the number of nuclear warheads each country has to between 1,500 and 1,675 under a new treaty.
One of the hang-ups has been including missile-defense issues in a new accord. If completed, the new deal may arguably be the farthest-reaching arms control treaty since the original 1991 agreement. An interim deal reached in 2002 did not include its own rules on verifying nuclear reductions.
Speaking to the Associated Press during a nuclear disarmament conference in Paris Wednesday, Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin-connected head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev would sign a new treaty “by the end of the first quarter.”
“This is not a political question, it is a technical question,” he said. “We are fine-tuning and polishing details.”
In Moscow, Mr. Medvedev’s foreign policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko said “March or April is a realistic target,” according to Russian news agencies.
Both sides say they will abide by the old START treaty, which expired Dec. 5, until a new one is signed.
Ms. Tauscher showed no sign of readiness to abandon the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
“Nuclear disarmament is not the Holy Grail,” she said. “As long as we see the rise of nuclear weapons in other countries we will maintain a deterrence that is second to none.”
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Hillary swoons at admitted illegal immigrant: 'Wow,' you're 'incredibly brave'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.