Washington, DC -- Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the breakthrough today in finalizing the U.S.-Russia strategic nuclear arms control agreement is an important achievement that should set an example for other nuclear powers.

“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,” Berman said. “It also demonstrates our two countries’ commitment to fulfill their existing treaty obligations to move toward nuclear disarmament.”

Berman noted that the new agreement, which will replace the expired START I treaty, will aid U.S. efforts to strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the May Review Conference in New York.

“The global nonproliferation regime is severely threatened by the efforts of Iran and North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons, which could lead to a cascade of similar efforts around the world,” he said. “As the U.S. and Russia significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals, other NPT signatories must also do their share to strengthen and enforce that most vital treaty, the foundation of the world’s efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

“President Obama and his team are leading the way with the U.S.-Russia agreement, and I look forward to its signing next month.”

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