April 3, 2010

        The US and Russian presidents are to sign a pact on Thursday committing the former Cold War foes to unprecedented nuclear arms reductions, cementing a hard-won deal that should put strained ties on firmer footing. After nearly a year of tough negotiations, the signing by Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in Prague, the capital of a former Soviet satellite now in NATO, will symbolise cooperation between Washington and Moscow for the sake of global security.
                     Both presidents say new cuts in the largest arsenals on the planet are a step toward a world without nuclear weapons and a signal to nations seeking them that there is no need. But the successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) will not come into force without ratification by lawmakers in both countries, and could face a rough ride in the US Senate.The START successor deal will not resolve simmering tension over missile defence, which has haunted ties since the Reagan era and hurt them badly in the past decade.
      With Russia already saying it could withdraw from the pact if its security is threatened by US missile defences, the divisive issue could come to the fore again. Russia has long complained that cutting its offensive arsenal could leave it exposed if the United States builds a missile shield in Eastern Europe. The treaty would limit the number of operationally deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 for each country -- down nearly two-thirds from START I and 30 per cent lower than the ceiling of the 2002 Moscow Treaty set for each side by 2012.
      The signing will be the first major concrete foreign policy achievement for Obama, who has sought to "reset" Russia ties. . Signing a major nuclear weapons treaty is also a boost for Medvedev, still in Putin's shadow. Obama who won Noble prize for Peace....will be happy that he is just doing something to reduce tension between to largest nuclear nations....
     But if the treaty is a success then US will certainly start pressurising India and other nuclear nations to sign in similar nuclear disarmment treaties.

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