Obama sends START Treaty to Senate for ratification

US President Barack Obama has sent to the Senate the New START Treaty for ratification.

Washington: US President Barack Obama has sent to the Senate the New START Treaty for ratification, which he signed with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Prague last month.

The historic treaty aims to reduce the nuclear stockpiles of both the countries by one-third.

Before sending the Treaty to the Senate, Obama spoke to Medvedev.

Obama stressed the importance of completing the ratification process in both countries as soon as possible, the White House said in a statement yesterday.

"The Presidents discussed our common efforts to advance peace in the Middle East, with President Medvedev sharing his impressions from his recent trip to the region," the statement said.

Obama and Medvedev also discussed the "good progress" being made by the P5+1 towards agreement on a UN Security Council resolution on Iran and agreed to instruct their negotiators to intensify their efforts to reach conclusion as soon as possible, the White House said.

Welcoming the submission of the treaty to Senate for ratification, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry said it is an essential step toward making America safer.

"This treaty will maintain our flexibility to protect our national security interests and restore hard-won visibility into the strategic nuclear forces of Russia`s still formidable arsenal.”

“It will also strengthen the global coalition against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and thereby reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism," he said.

"The New START Treaty is the latest in a line of strategic arms reduction accords, often negotiated by Republican presidents, and supported overwhelmingly by Republican and Democratic senators alike," Kerry said.

"As President Reagan said in 1981, `Our nation has been committed on a bipartisan basis to preventing the spread of nuclear explosives from the birth of the atomic age over 35 years ago.”

"We must uphold America`s longstanding record of leadership on this vital issue," he said.

In his letter to the Senate, Obama said the treaty will enhance country`s security and "promote transparency and predictability" between the US and Russia regarding weapons and nuclear arsenals.

"The Treaty will promote transparency and predictability in the strategic relationship between the US and the Russian Federation and will enable each party to verify that the other party is complying with its obligations through a regime that includes on-site inspections, notifications, a comprehensive and continuing exchange of data regarding strategic offensive arms, and provisions for the use of national technical means of verification," he said.