US President Barack Obama has received bipartisan support for a new arms cut deal with Russia in place of the Cold War-era START treaty under which the two sides will reduce their nuclear stockpiles by 30 per cent, with lawmakers describing it as a historic move for global security.
"I know there has been a partisan breakdown in recent years, but we can renew the Senate's bipartisan tradition on arms control and approve ratification of this new treaty in 2010. I know that can happen. This is a moment for statesmanship," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.
His remarks came after the White House announced yesterday that Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had reached an agreement on reducing their atomic stockpiles by 30 per cent and the pact would be signed by the two leaders in Prague on April 8.
"This is a historic day for the United States, Russia and all countries and people who hope for a more secure and peaceful world, free of the threat of annihilation from nuclear weapons.
"It also demonstrates our two countries' commitment to fulfil their existing treaty obligations to move toward nuclear disarmament," said Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Committee on International Relations.
He noted that the new agreement, which will replace the expired START or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, will aid US efforts to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the May Review Conference in New York.
Leading Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, said he is looking forward to the President's submission of the new treaty, its protocols, annexes and all associated documents to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification.
"Not only will this treaty reduce the amount of Russian nuclear weapons by hundreds, but it comfortably maintains America's nuclear capabilities so that we can keep America secure and deter our adversaries," said Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader.
"Historically, these treaties have received broad bipartisan support, and I am confident that this treaty will achieve similar support from both sides of the aisle," he said.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representative, said the New START treaty marks another step forward to create a world free of nuclear weapons.
This comprehensive arms control agreement is a sign of progress for the peace and security of all nations and the future of people across the globe, she added.