Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday called the new START a “cornerstone” for Europe’s security for the coming decades.
Speaking warmly of US President Barack Obama, Medvedev said in a televised appearance “under very difficult circumstances, he (Obama) managed to make the Senate ratify this document.”
The new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), is a follow-up to the 1991 START I treaty, which expired in December 2009, START II and the 2002 Treaty of Moscow (SORT) due to expire in December 2012, which would reduces the number of operationally-inactive stockpile of nuclear warheads at both superpowers to 1,550 warheads each.
“Obama is a man who knows how to hear and to listen. A man who lives up to this standard, as he keeps his word,” Medvedev pointed out.
He made the comments during a televised question-and-answer session with the heads of Russia’s three leading television stations.
The Russian Parliament, which was waiting for the treaty to be ratified by the US Senate, held a first reading of a ratification bill earlier today. The bill will need to pass three readings by the Duma, the lower house of parliament, a process that will continue at least through the end of January.