Reports: U.S., Russia Strike Deal on Arms Control

BY jbreslow  March 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM EST


President Obama speaks with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev during meetings in Singapore in November. (Photo by Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images.)

The United States and Russia, which together control more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, have agreed on a new arms control pact to replace the now expired Strategic Arms Reduction of Treaty of 1991, according to media reports.

While President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev must still finalize the agreement, a Kremlin spokesman told the Washington Post on Wednesday that, “All documents related to the new treaty have been agreed upon.”

According to multiple reports out Wednesday, the two sides are expected to sign the agreement at a ceremony in Prague next month ahead of a nonproliferation summit President Obama will host in Washington later in April.

The pact reportedly would reduce the number of long-range nuclear warheads deployed by each nation to around 1,600 from 2,200. Both countries would also have to cut by half their number of bombers and land- and sea-based missiles, the New York Times reported.

Any treaty would require ratification by the U.S. Senate, as well as Russia’s parliament. In a statement Wednesday, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, Mass., said he has “assured the president that we strongly support his efforts, and that if the final negotiations and all that follows go smoothly, we will work to ensure that the Senate can act on the treaty this year.”