Hillary presses Republicans

Posted on: Mon November 22, 2010

International Highlights

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned up the heat on Sunday on Republicans over a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, saying the pact was beyond politics and must be ratified this year.     

Republicans are loath to allow President Barack Obama a victory on a top foreign policy initiative and are seeking to stall passage of the new START treaty until mid-term election gains in Congress take effect next year.     

 I would hope that this treaty would be treated as others whether it was a Democratic or Republican president saw their treaties in arms control with the Russians treated, Clinton said on CBS s Face the Nation programme.     

 And that is: this is beyond politics, let s pass it by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Clinton painted Republican senators as playing politics with national security and warned that delaying the accord could impinge on America s ability to verify Russia s nuclear arsenal.     

 There is no doubt that the START treaty is in the interests of the United States, she said. Don t just take it from me or from the president, look at what the Europeans people like (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel or the foreign minister of Poland or the president of any of the Baltic countries or so many others are saying.     

 They live next door to Russia, they know that this is in their interests, and they also know that because we have no treaty, there is no inspection going on, there is no verification going on.

The arms treaty was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Barack Obama at an elaborate ceremony in Prague in April restricts each nation to a maximum of 1,550 deployed warheads, a cut of about 30 percent from a limit set in 2002.

 Courtesy : The Nation