UN chief hails US approval of nuclear pact

23rd December 2010, Comments 0 comments

UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed the US Senate's ratification Wednesday of a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, saying it would bolster non-proliferation efforts.

"The secretary-general believes that the United States' ratification will help maintain the hard-won momentum in recent years for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament," his spokesman said.

"He hopes that the Russian Federation and the United States build upon this momentum and continue to engage in follow-on measures in order to achieve deeper reductions in their nuclear arsenals."

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) would restrict each of the former Cold War foes to a maximum of 1,550 deployed warheads, a cut of about 30 percent from a limit set in 2002, and 800 launchers and bombers.

The treaty, which must still be ratified by Russia's parliament, would also resume mutual on-the-ground inspections of nuclear facilities, which lapsed when the accord's predecessor expired in December 2009.

© 2010 AFP

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