Monday, July 6, 2009

Global Zero Leaders Respond to Obama/Medvedev Joint Statement on Nuclear Weapons

/PRNewswire/ -- "Of course -- as is always the case in serious negotiations -- there are a host of difficult issues that must be resolved in order to reach a new arms control agreement," said Ambassador Richard Burt, who was the top U.S. negotiator for the START 1 negotiations and now leads Global Zero, an international coalition working to eliminate nuclear weapons. "But the presidents' joint statements today make it clear that they will not let these issues stand in the way of the priority goal they set April 1: establishing joint U.S.-Russian leadership to reduce their two arsenals and to lead an international effort for the elimination of all nuclear arsenals to zero."

"The key to achieving global nuclear disarmament is the improvement of US Russia relations," said Senator Mikhail Margelov, Chair of the Committee of International Relations in the Russian Federation Council and a founding member of the Global Zero initiative. "We face a number of stumbling blocks including the expansion of NATO and missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, but these are issues we can work through. Our main goal must be to create a world without nuclear weapons."

"In Russia, both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin believe in global zero," said Igor Yurgens, senior adviser to the President and a founding member of the Global Zero initiative. "They believe that a world without nuclear weapons must be the goal both for the Russian Federation and for mankind. We hope and trust that the commitment on START negotiations agreed during President Obama's visit will be a step in the right direction."

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