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08.07.2009 International

UN Chief welcomes Russian-United States Agreement to cut nuclear arsenals

By UN Office, Accra
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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the accord between Russia and the United States that commits the two countries to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals.

The Joint Understanding for a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed yesterday in Moscow by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama, commits the two States to cut their strategic warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 and their strategic delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,000.

“This agreement is consistent with the disarmament obligations by the two largest nuclear-weapon States under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT),” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General believes that this agreement will make a significant contribution to the process of nuclear disarmament, as well as nuclear non-proliferation, during the lead-up to the 2010 NPT Conference and eventually to achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

In May Mr. Ban told the Conference on Disarmament that he was encouraged by recent remarks by the leaders of both Russia and the US, and he urged the broader international community to undertake a new multilateral approach to ensure sustainable progress towards disarmament.

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