10 Apr 2010

Nuclear disarmament treaty signed

9:48 pm on 10 April 2010

The United States and Russia have signed a landmark treaty on nuclear disarmament.

The pact was sealed on Thursday in the Czech capital, Prague, by US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev.

The BBC reports the agreement requires strategic warheads deployed by the former Cold War enemies to be cut by 30% within seven years.

Under the pact, each side is allowed a maximum of 1550 warheads, about 30% fewer than the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

Mr Medvedev says the treaty will create safer conditions around the world, while Mr Obama says it sets the stage for further disarmament in the future.

If ratified by lawmakers in both countries, the treaty will replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991, which has expired.

On Tuesday, Mr Obama unveiled a new Nuclear Posture Review, which narrows the circumstances in which the US would use nuclear weapons.

However, countries regarded by the US as not complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including Iran and North Korea, will not be spared the possibility of a nuclear response.