What Exactly is the Deal Between President Obama and the Kremlin?

Conn Carroll /

The White House Fact Sheet on the New START Treaty agreed to between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev claims:

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike: The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

But the Kremlin seems to be under the opposite impression. Vladimir Radyuhin reports:

Russia hailed a new nuclear arms treaty with the United States, but warned that U.S. missile defence plans could derail its implementation.

The Kremlin confirmed that Presidents Medvedev and Barack Obama would sign the treaty in Prague on April 8. However, it disputed the U.S. claim that the treaty imposed no restrictions on the U.S. missile defence programmes.

The Russian statement said the treaty contained a “legally binding linkage between strategic offensive and strategic defensive weapons”.

“Trust but verify” was Ronald Reagan’s approach to relations with the Soviet Union. The Senate should keep that phrase in mind when working with the Obama administration while deciding whether or not the should ratify this agreement.