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US, Russia Seal Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty

obama-medvedev-G20-photo.previewPresident Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia today sealed a new nuclear arms reduction treaty, which entails a considerable new reduction of the strategic missiles each side has deployed, The Washington Post reports.

The agreement, which still has to be ratified in the U.S. Senate and in Russia, replaces a nearly two-decade-long pact calling for both nations to cut down their arsenals of thousands of long-range nuclear weapons. It also requires both sides to decrease the stockpiles of their most dangerous weapons, those already deployed and ready to launch at long-range targets, by about 30 percent, allowing each side to retain about 1,550 such warheads.

The new deal resulted from negotiations that went on far longer than officials had expected. The 1991 START treaty expired in early December last year, forcing the presidents of both countries to pledge they would abide by its parameters until a new treaty could be forged.

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