>SEEKING to end years of rancor, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday signed the biggest nuclear arms pact in a generation and envisioned a day when they can compromise on the divisive issue of missile defense, the ABC News reports.
The new treaty, the first of its kind in two decades and nearly a year in the making, signaled a bold new opening in relations between the former Cold War foes. Both leaders hoped for more progress on economic matters and potentially even deeper cuts in their robust nuclear arsenals, while the Russian president still warned of potential pitfalls ahead.
The pact will shrink the limit of nuclear warheads to 1,550 per country over seven years. That still allows for mutual destruction several times over. But it is intended to send a strong signal that Russia and the U.S. — which between them own more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons — are serious about disarmament.
Obama and Medvedev reaffirmed their commitment to considering new sanctions against Iran if the Islamic republic continues to refuse to suspend uranium enrichment and start talks on its nuclear program.