US-Russia Moscow Treaty

On 24 May, Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the signing in Moscow by the leaders of the United States and the Russian Federation of a treaty reducing their strategic nuclear warheads to a level nearly two-thirds below current levels by the end of 2012.

Hailing the signature of the accord, he praised both parties for taking constructive steps to reduce their stockpiles and called the move a “positive step in the direction of nuclear disarmament [which] contributes to the fulfillment of the obligations of the two countries as nuclear-weapon States under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”

The U.S.-Russia Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which is also known as the “Moscow Treaty”, commits the United States and Russia to reduce their strategic nuclear warheads to a level of 1700–2200 by 31 December 2012. Current levels are around 6,000 deployed warheads for each side. The legally binding Treaty codifies the agreements reached between President Bush and President Putin during the November 2001 Washington/Crawford Summit. According to the agreement, each side determines for itself the composition and structure of its strategic forces consistent with this limit.

Once the Treaty is agreed to in accordance with the procedures of each country, it will remain in force until the last day of 2012, whereupon it may be extended or replaced with a subsequent agreement.