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US and Russia set to seal fresh START

US and Russia set to seal fresh START
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Pressing the nuclear re-set button in Prague.

Tight security has been put in place in the Czech capital as the city prepares to welcome President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for the signing of a landmark arms deal.

The new Treaty should chop the Cold War foes atomic stockpiles by around 30 percent to around 1,500 warheads each.

Earlier, while meeting Czech president Vaclav Klaus, president Medvedev described the agreement as “A very important step.’‘

Moscow and Washington will also agree to include greater transparency, giving unprecedented access to each other’s firepower.

This week the US narrowed the circumstances in which it would use nuclear arms and today’s deal is being seen as another big step in President Obama’s ambitious agenda to control the bomb.

Nuclear Proliferation Analyst Joseph Cirincione said:

“This treaty is a major re-set of US-Russian relations which were at Cold War levels just 18 months ago after the Georgian war. We’re off on a major improvement in the relations, a new track that allows us to move ahead on a whole host of other vital issues including Iran, international economics, energy issues etc.”

In addition to cutting the number of weapons, the latest deal, which replaces the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also limits the number of launchers each power can have.