Soon after being elected President of the United States, then President-elect Obama spoke with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and they agreed to meet soon. Well, soon has arrived; the two presidents will meet in just five days, on April 1st. It will be a historic meeting for many reasons, and it will be an extremely important one considering that relations between Moscow and Washington plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War ended while President George W. Bush was in office. Things can only go up from there.
Among the most serious conversations these two leaders will have will concern nuclear weapons. This could be the moment that the two superpowers, which for so many years stood ready to annhialate each other with nuclear weapons, agree to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons. There are a number of steps these two men could agree upon as a beginning, among them extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) agreement, taking all nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, and making deep cuts in both nation's nuclear arsenals.
It will take the leadership of the United States and Russia (that together possess 95 percent of the world's nuclear warheads) to set the example for the rest of the world on this issue. And it will require serious diplomacy in an atmosphere of mutual trust for these leaders to discuss these issues and move our nations (and the world) away from the threat of nuclear war. Both Presidents have stated their committment to a world free of nuclear weapons.
President Obama needs to hear our committment to (and support for) that goal. I hope you will join me in sending President Obama a message (before April 1st) urging him to focus on the nuclear weapons issue at this meeting, particularly extending the START agreement, taking all weapons off hair-trigger alert and deep cuts to both arsenals. Who knows; maybe he will even take European missile defense off the table.
CLICK HERE to send your message to President Obama courtesy of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (before April 1st).
Towards a nuclear weapons-free world (and peace),
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