Obama to propose further US, Russian n-arms cut

Washington, June 19 (IANS) US President Barack Obama, currently on a visit to Berlin, will propose plans for America and Russia to further cut strategic nuclear warheads, a senior US official said.

During his first visit to Berlin as president, Obama will propose reducing atomic weapons by a third below the 1,550 agreed in the last “New START” treaty with Russia, leaving each country with just over 1,000 weapons, the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The US president will also announce that he will host a nuclear security summit before he leaves office in 2016, the official said.

Obama will also call for reducing the number of US and Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

The US has about 1,700 nuclear weapons, and the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which Obama signed with Russia in 2010, commits Washington and Moscow to cutting their existing warhead ceilings by 30 percent over the next 10 years from the current 2,200 to 1,550.

Obama is visiting Germany after attending the G8 summit in Northern Ireland June 17-18.

The president is set to meet German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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