Just Days Away from a New START

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will exchange the instruments of ratification for the New START nuclear arms agreement on Saturday in Munich, according to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. Once this exchange occurs, the treaty will enter into force. On Wednesday, President Obama signed the US instrument of ratification during an Oval Office ceremony attended by members of his national security team and several Senators. This marked the final US step after the Senate voted for ratification in December. The Russian parliament approved the pact last month and President Dmitry Medvedev signed his country’s instrument of ratification on Jan. 28. “With New START, the United States and Russia have reached another milestone in our bilateral relationship and continue the momentum Presidents Obama and Medvedev created with the ‘reset’ nearly two years ago,” stated Crowley in the State Department release. New START caps each country’s deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550 and deployed delivery vehicles at 700 within seven years of entering into force. (White House New START fact sheet) (See also Obama’s New START message and letter)