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Obama appeals for nuclear cuts

中国日报网 2013-06-20 10:12

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US President Barack Obama said he wants to reduce deployed nuclear weapons by up to a third and revive negotiations with Russia to "move beyond Cold War nuclear postures" in a speech on Wednesday in Berlin.

"After a comprehensive review I have determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one third," he said, speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Almost 50 years to the day since John F. Kennedy declared Ich bin ein Berliner, Obama said: "I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures."

Ahead of the address to around 6,000 people, the US leader also took pains to assure Germans that US Internet and phone surveillance programs were strictly limited and a vital tool against terror.

Obama used his speech to propose cutting US and Russian strategic nuclear warheads to around 1,000 each, and also to seek cuts in tactical nuclear arms stocks in Europe.

A senior US official said, "We will seek to negotiate these reductions with Russia to continue to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures."

It remains unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Obama had a frosty meeting at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Monday, will agree to such substantial weapons cuts.

In Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman said Russia had told Washington that it wants other nuclear-armed states to commit to reductions.

"The process of cutting down nuclear potential should include other countries with nuclear weapons," Russian diplomats told Washington ahead of Obama's speech on the subject in Berlin, foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said.

"The situation now is not like in the 1960s and 1970s when only the United States and the(former) Soviet Union held talks on reducing nuclear arms," Ushakov said at a news conference in Moscow.

"Now we need to look more broadly ... and increase the circle of participants in possible contacts on this matter."

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

 

About the broadcaster:

Lance Crayon is a videographer and editor with China Daily. Since living in Beijing he has worked for China Radio International (CRI) and Global Times. Before moving to China he worked in the film industry in Los Angeles as a talent agent and producer. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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