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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. president to sign START treaty ratification papers Wednesday

RIA Novosti

06:33 02/02/2011 WASHINGTON, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama will sign on Wednesday ratification documents for a new Russia-US strategic arms reduction deal, the White House said.

The new START treaty was signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in April 2010.

The document replaces the START 1 treaty, which expired in December 2009, and cuts the Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

Medvedev signed the ratification documents last Friday after both houses of the Russian parliament ratified the new treaty adding some provisions to the ratification document and issuing two supplementary statements to the resolution on the treaty ratification.

The U.S. Senate ratified the deal on December 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up U.S. global missile defenses.

The treaty will formally come into force when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchange the instruments of ratification in Munich on February 5.

Lavrov and Clinton will be in the German city for the 47th Munich Security Conference, to be held February 4-6. The annual gathering brings together senior figures from around the world to engage in intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

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