Washington, DC -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement today after attending a ceremony at the White House at which President Obama signed the instrument of ratification for the New START Treaty.
“The new treaty represents an important milestone in arms control agreements between the United States and Russia,” said Chairman Kerry. “Anytime we reduce the number of nuclear weapons deployed by these two countries, we make the world a safer place for everyone. The agreement signed today by President Obama, which was ratified in a bipartisan Senate vote in December, means that American inspectors will once again be visiting Russian nuclear installations and the number of nuclear weapons deployed by both countries will be reduced. When the treaty enters into force this weekend, it will signal to other nations that the United States and Russia are working together to reduce their arsenals and stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology to other countries.”
The Foreign Relations Committee held 12 hearings over several months before voting New START out of Committee last September. The full Senate subsequently ratified the treaty in December, continuing a tradition of bipartisan support for strategic arms reduction accords that spans four administrations. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the Russian instrument of ratification after the Russian parliament passed the treaty. The United States and Russia are expected to exchange instruments of ratification this weekend at the Munich Security Conference, thereby bringing the treaty into force.