US, Russia Finalize Nuclear Arms Reduction Deal

Final Pact Places No Limits on Missile Defense

The United States and Russia announced today that they had finalized the long awaited nuclear arms reduction treaty, and that the pact will be signed on April 8 in Prague. The pact will cut warhead stockpiles by about 30 percent on both sides.

The ratification of the treaty will require a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, but support has been largely assured as the final version of the pact places no formal limits on US missile defense.

The work-around for missile defense, as reported earlier this week, involved allowing both sides to issue signing statements outside of the main text of the deal expressing their opinions on the issue of defensive missiles.

But the missile defense issue is far from dead, even if it will no longer stand in the way of this pact. US plans to put interceptor missiles in Romania and, perhaps more significantly, in Poland just 50 miles from the border with Kaliningrad, will remain an issue moving forward, as will Russia’s efforts to counter such deployments.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.