Signing of an agreement on nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia

Bern, Press release, 08.04.2010

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) welcomes the signing in Prague today of a new agreement on reducing strategic nuclear weapons by the United States and the Russian Federation.

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the FDFA, called the New START Treaty a first substantial step in the commitment that Presidents Obama and Medvedev undertook at their meeting in London on 1 April 2009 to work to achieving "a world without nuclear weapons". 

Switzerland encourages the US and Russia to ratify the new treaty as soon as possible and to pursue their efforts towards nuclear disarmament. In addition, it invites all nuclear weapons states to undertake the same steps towards disarmament with a view to achieving the complete elimination of this kind of weapon. 

“I hope that the signing of this new treaty will have a positive effect on the coming Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”the head of Switzerland’s diplomacy declared. This conference will take place between 3 and 29 May 2010 in New York.   

The elimination of all weapons of mass destruction has been one of Switzerland’s priorities for a considerable amount of time. In the field of nuclear disarmament, it was in particular the initiator in 2007, together with five other states, of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on de-alerting in the area of nuclear weapons.  

Moreover, the FDFA notes with satisfaction that the new nuclear doctrine of the United States, published on 6 April 2010, contains elements that go in the direction of a reduced role for nuclear weapons in American defence strategy.      

START I (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) of 1991 expired on 5 December 2009. The New START Treaty will come into effect with the completion of the ratification processes in the US Senate and the Russian Duma.


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