President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, met in Prague on Thursday to sign the New START Treaty, effectively replacing the now-expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991. Obama said the new measure was “an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation” that would pave the way for more progress down the line. —KA
Under the pact, each side is allowed a maximum of 1,550 warheads, about 30% lower than the 2002 Moscow Treaty.
It also limits the number of deployed delivery vehicles - ballistic missiles and heavy bombers - to no more than 700. However, each bomber counts as one warhead irrespective of the fact that it might carry multiple bombs or missiles.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, President Obama said the treaty demonstrated that both countries had halted the deterioration of their relations, which had prevented agreement on mutually important issues in the past.
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