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Begich Statement on START Treaty


U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after President Obama announced he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet in Prague on April 8 to sign a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

“I am pleased to hear the Treaty agreement has been reached as it is important for our cooperation with Russia and for global security has a whole.  An agreement by the U.S. and Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons each nation is allowed in the inventory by one-third and to maintain a solid system of verification, keeps us on a course of nuclear non-proliferation.

“Of particular good news to Alaska is the Treaty does not put any constraints on our ability to continue development and testing of missile defense systems like the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system deployed at Fort Greely.  GMD is the only system capable of protecting the U.S. from a long-range ballistic missile attack, making Alaska the nation’s first line of defense.  The ability to allow for a robust GMD system at Fort Greely is vital to national security in light of increasing missile threats posed by Iran and North Korea.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I look forward to examining the details of this Treaty and moving toward a course of ratification by the Senate.”
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