President Obama has announced that the United States and Russia will agree to an new and expanded nuclear arms reduction treaty which will cut by one-third the number of nuclear weapons the two former Cold War adversaries can deploy.
In a call to Russian President Medvedev, President Obama confirmed that he would travel to Prague, the Czech Republic, on Thursday, April 8 to sign the historic expansion of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) originally ratified in July 1991.
Under what the White House is calling the New START Treaty, both nations will be limited to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads, about 30-percent fewer than the limit agreed to in the 1991 START treaty.
In addition, the nations will be limited to 800 deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear weapons; and 700 for deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear weapons. Both represent a more than 50-percent reduction over the old START treaty.
The New START Treaty, however, places no restrictions on future testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned U.S. long-range conventional strike capabilities.