Ushering in a new era of cooperation. US president Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev sign an historic arms control treaty in the Czech capital Prague to cut their respective countries nuclear arsenals.
Both leaders hailed the deal and the warming relationship between Moscow and Washington.
It will be that common ground the White House will be keen to exploit as it seeks to curb Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Speaking at the ceremony President Obama said:
“The United States and Russia are part of a coalition of nations insisting that the Islamic Republic of Iran face consequences because they have continually failed to meet their obligations.”
Russia has so far been reluctant to impose stricter measures on Iran. That could now change, but President Medvedev argued any sanctions should be smart.
“Our position is well-known and I can once again state it. Of course sanctions rarely lead to any results, though sometimes they are necessary. But in any case, these sanctions must be smart, aimed only at non-proliferation, and not against the Iranian people,” the Russian president said.
Even if, Washington can persuade Moscow to follow its stance on Tehran any agreement would also need the support of China, something up until now Beijing has refused to do.