The United States expects to hold talks with Russia on tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) within a year after the New START arms reduction treaty comes into force, President Barack Obama said in a message to the Senate on Wednesday.
"The United States will seek to initiate, following consultation with NATO Allies but not later than 1 year after the entry into force of the New START Treaty, negotiations with the Russian Federation on an agreement to address the disparity between the non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons stockpiles of the Russian Federation and of the United States," the message reads.
Earlier on Wednesday, Obama signed ratification papers for the New START - a keystone of his painstaking effort to reset relations with Russia.
When ratifying the New START deal in December, the United States Senate adopted a resolution obligating the government to start bilateral talks on cutting the TNW stockpiles - landmines, artillery shells and short-range missiles. Washington says Moscow has a larger number of these systems.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said January 29 that it is too early to discuss limiting TNW with the United States because Russia needs to see the way the U.S. fulfills the undertaken commitments.
The new deal, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Obama in Prague in April 2010. The document slashes the Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.
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.
Medvedev signed the ratification documents January 28 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 deal will formally come into force when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchange the instruments of ratification at a security conference in Munich on February 5.
In his message to senators, Obama officially notified them that he signed the ratification papers and will implement the decisions of legislators that the ratification resolution contains.
WASHINGTON, February 3 (RIA Novosti)