U.S. President Barack Obama expressed hope on Thursday that the Senate would ratify a new nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia before the end of this year's congressional term.
"This is not a traditionally Democratic or Republican issue but rather a issue of American national security and I am hopeful that we can get that done... and send a strong signal to Russia that we are serious about reducing nuclear arsenals, but also send a signal to the world that we're serious about non-proliferation," Obama told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting.
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new arms cuts treaty, intended to replace the START 1 agreement that expired in December 2009, on April 8 in Prague. The agreement will come into force after being ratified by both chambers of the Russian parliament and the U.S. Senate.
Obama's statement comes two days after the Republicans won a solid majority in congressional elections on Tuesday. This means it will be more difficult for Obama to secure the ratification of the treaty after the new Congress takes office in January.
Under the US constitution, in order to be ratified, the treaty should be supported by at least two-thirds of the Senate.
The new Russian-U.S. pact obligates both nations to cap their fielded strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads, while the number of deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles must not exceed 800 on either side.
WASHINGTON, November 4 (RIA Novosti)