WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement after today's signing of the Joint Understanding for the START follow-on treaty by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev:
"I applaud President Obama and Russian President Medvedev for agreeing to negotiate an arms control treaty that will reduce the size of our two countries' arsenals of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and strategic delivery vehicles to the lowest levels in decades. This is a very important early step toward the nonproliferation and long-term disarmament goals that President Obama set out in his April speech in Prague. With the START Treaty due to expire in December, it is vital that negotiations on the new treaty proceed urgently. The Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate will closely examine the new treaty once it is finalized, but I am confident that the treaty envisioned by this Joint Understanding will ultimately win Senate approval and enter into force.
"I also welcome and endorse President Medvedev's comments on the state of our bilateral relationship. Russia is a essential partner in meeting the global challenges of the twenty-first century. Nuclear nonproliferation, climate change, international terrorism, and pandemic public health threats can only be addressed with our comprehensive cooperation."
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