WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, signing a new nuclear arms reduction pact today in Prague, said the treaty reflects a great improvement in relations between the former Cold War enemies since Obama took office last year and called for a "reset."
Obama, speaking at the signing ceremony for the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, predicted "strong, tough" sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program will come next, sometime this spring. Working together, he said, the U.S. and Russia should be able to reach an agreement with other key nations on the terms of those sanctions.
The treaty, Obama said, also demonstrates that the two countries have “stopped that drift” that occurred during the Bush administration “and proven the benefits of cooperation. Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations.”
Medvedev said the treaty represents “a win-win situation."
"No one stands to lose from this agreement," Medvedev said. "I believe that this is a typical feature of our cooperation. Both parties have won. And taking into account this victory of ours, the entire world community has won.”
The treaty is the most visible measure of improving cooperation on an array of fronts, from intelligence sharing to Iran and the war in Afghanistan. Moscow quietly has allowed more than 130 planes carrying U.S. troops to Afghanistan to transit its territory, the first armed Americans ever permitted on Russian soil.
Earlier story: U.S.-Russia summit reflects thaw in relations