Washington, D.C. — Council for a Livable World today welcomed the commitment by the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers to move forward with negotiations on a successor to the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which expires in December.
However, the organization warned that there is not a lot of time to complete the negotiations and secure the approval of the U.S. Senate. A positive U.S.-Russian relationship is critical to deal with important issues such as Iran, North Korea, energy, and global warming.
â€œThe Obama administration and Secretary Clinton are to be commended for reaching out to Minister Lavrov,â€� said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World. â€œAs negotiations unfold, the United States and Russia should work toward a ceiling of no more than 1,000 strategic nuclear weapons per side.â€�
Added Isaacs: â€œSuch an agreement will be a major challenge because it is only nine months until the deadline and a two-thirds majority in the Senate is needed for approval. Yet I believe it is achievable.â€�
Negotiated nuclear weapons reductions by the United States and Russia enjoy wide domestic support. Many Republicans have spoken publicly in favor of reducing stockpiles, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senator John McCain, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, and former Secretaries of Defense James Schlesinger and Frank Carlucci.