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U.S. and Russia Promise to Reduce Nuclear Weapons

On Monday, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met at the Kremlin in Moscow and each promised to reduce nuclear arms in their respective nations.

Obama expressed that the two countries must take a leadership position in the reduction of nuclear weapons.  “It is very difficult for us to exert that leadership unless we are showing ourselves willing to deal with our own nuclear stockpiles in a more rational way,” he said.

The plan Obama and Medvedev laid out promises to reduce strategic warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 with more restriced policies on delivery systems.

The crackdown may seem minimal, but many are optimistic.  Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said “What is most important about it is not the size of the reductions … but the fact that there is a continuation of a system of regulation and verification over the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, which today still comprise about 95 percent of the world’s total nuclear stockpiles.”

These promises of nuclear weapon reduction come at a time when certain countries are becoming a growing threat of nuclear armament.  “The U.S. and Russia need to get the non-nuclear-weapons states to work with them to improve safeguards, to clamp down on those countries that don’t comply with their safeguards, like Iran and North Korea, to find ways to work together to limit the spread of the technologies that can be used to make bomb material, highly enriched uranium and plutonium,” Kimball said.  he added, “And the only way they are going to build that support is by fulfilling their disarmament obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.”

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