US-Russia nuclear arms treaty enters into force

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MUNICH: The New START arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia came into effect on Saturday in Munich, RIA Novosti reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged the instruments of ratification for the treaty that limits the number of atomic warheads both countries are allowed to have.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, reduces the Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

"The principles of equality, parity, equal and undivided security lay a solid foundation for the modern Russian-American cooperation in various spheres," Lavrov said at a global security conference in Munich on Saturday.

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the exchange and said the treaty is an example of a "clear-eyed cooperation that is in everyone's interests."

According to the U.S. Department of State, both countries have 45 days to exchange information on the number, location and technical specifications of their arsenals, while on-site inspections can begin in 60 days. 

President Medvedev signed the ratification documents on January 28 after it was approved by both houses of the Russian parliament. President Obama signed ratification papers for the New on Wednesday.

The new deal, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in Prague in April 2010.

(BNO NEWS )

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