Obama and Medvedev Set New Tone for U.S.-Russian Relations
Sure, some of the show of good will between President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, was glad-handing for the cameras, and that whole missile-shield issue was swept under the rug for the time being, but some actual progress was made during their summit in Moscow on Monday.
Wait, before you go…
On the most immediate challenge, working out an arms control agreement to replace the START I treaty which expires December 5, the two presidents signed a joint understanding for a follow-on agreement to START that commits both parties to a legally binding treaty that will reduce nuclear weapons. Video Watch Obama discuss arms control pact »
The joint understanding commits the United States and Russia to reduce their strategic warheads to a range of 1,500 to 1,675, and their strategic delivery vehicles to a range of 500 to 1,100. Under the expiring START and the Moscow treaties the maximum allowable levels of warheads is 2,200 and the maximum allowable level of launch vehicles is 1,600.
Russia has insisted on linking the arms control agreement to the controversial issue of a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The presidents dealt separately with that issue, instructing their experts to work together to carry out a joint threat assessment, analyze ballistic missile threats in the world and prepare appropriate recommendations.
They also announced plans to conduct a joint review on possible cooperation to monitor the development of missile programs around the world. Obama said the two leaders are discussing holding a global nuclear summit next year.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig