Policy Memos

U.S. Russian Strategic Arms Control: Back to the Future?

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After a seven year hiatus, the United States and Russia have resumed active dialogue on a new strategic arms reduction agreement to replace the 1991 START I treaty, which is due to expire on December 5, 2009. During their July 2009 summit, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev issued a joint statement outlining the basic content of this future agreement. The statement reflected the interest of both administrations in successfully reaching an agreement by December. Indeed, between April and early July, U.S. and Russian diplomats already had concluded four formal rounds of consultations during a cumulative two weeks of meetings. This ambitious timeframe represents a certain progress; during the Cold War, negotiating a similar text would have taken months, if not years. [...]

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