Arms Control Deal Key US Policy Win

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Barack Obama’s team has scored a key foreign policy win and bolstered international stability with an apparent new nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia, according to analysts.In Moscow, a Kremlin source told AFP Wednesday that Russia and the United States have agreed “all the documents’’ for a successor to the landmark 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and will likely sign it in Prague. Czech TV Nova said it would be April 8.US officials said “technical details’’ still need to be worked out, but that US, Russian and Czech officials were considering Prague as a venue for signing the eventual treaty to replace the one that expired in December. Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons specialist at the New America Foundation, said the deal “shows we can still do arms control,’’ adding the United States has negotiated nothing so complex in over than a decade.The deal provides for modest cuts but at least continues “the momentum of reductions,’’ after the George W. Bush administration gutted the US capacity to conducts arms control negotiations, he said.“This (new treaty) is not the end-all and be-all of arms control. The fact that they could do it at all is what’s impressive,’’ Lewis told AFP.The Center for American Progress (CAP), a think tank, said in an e-mail that the reported deal “marks an historic achievement that will increase the safety and security of the United States and our allies.’’ It “reduces the threat of nuclear war, marks a significant step in advancing President Barack Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and is a tangible result’’ of Obama’s bid to improve ties with Russia, CAP added. In Prague last April, Obama gave a major speech calling for a world free of nuclear weapons, while acknowledging he may not live to see that goal achieved. …