US and Russian negotiators today began the first round of a major series of nuclear disarmament talks in Moscow. The talks aim at negotiating a replacement for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expires in December of this year.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cheered the two day closed-door talks as a “new moment for disarmament,” and expressed his “best wishes” to the negotiators. The results of the first round will likely be unclear, as officials say they will only release a single “joint statement” at the end of the talks.
In April President’s Obama and Medvedev issued a statement pledging a “fresh start” to their relations and said they could potentially reduce their nuclear stockpiles to about 1,500 warheads each. The Obama Administration has said the new treaty may have a much longer deadline than the previous ones and could have far-reaching implications.
President Obama has called for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, while Russian officials have said that they might cut the nuclear arsenal even lower than what they had previously talked about,