Washington: US President Barack Obama
on Thursday said he hoped that a landmark nuclear weapons deal with
Russia would win Congress approval before the end of this
The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was
negotiated earlier this year to replace a similar treaty which
expired at the end of December.
Obama appealed to Republicans to help approve the
treaty after Congress returns on November 15, after the party
put up stiff opposition to the new deal fearing it could
hamper US missile defence plans.
"I`m hopeful that we can get that done... and send a
strong signal to Russia that we`re serious about reducing
nuclear arsenals, but also send a signal to the world that
we`re serious about non-proliferation," Obama said.
Republicans routed Obama`s Democrats in Tuesday`s
elections and are set to take control of the House of
Representatives in January, meaning the next few months are
seen as a "lame-duck session" with little hope of getting any
The START treaty -- signed by Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev and Obama at an elaborate ceremony in Prague in April
-- restricts each nation to a maximum of 1,550 deployed
warheads, a cut of about 30 per cent from a limit set