Obama calls in Powell to push START

In a meeting with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Obama has once again urged the Senate to ratify the START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia.

“In the absence of START, without the new START treaty being ratified by the Senate, we do not have a verification mechanism to ensure what the Russians are doing – and they don’t know what we are doing – and when you have uncertainty in the area of nuclear weapons – that is a much more dangerous world to live in,” Obama warned. “Russia has co-operated with us on critical issues for our national security, like Iran sanctions, and the current relationships and trust that are built from the new START treaty spill over into a whole of other national security issues that are of vital importance to America,” he noted

Many Republicans have tried to stall the ratification process since the signing of the agreement by the Russian and American presidents in April.

A heavyweight of American politics, Colin Powell supports Obama's initiative and stressed the need to verify Russian nuclear activities – something that would be impossible if the agreement fails.

Powell said that all concerns had been addressed by the executive and there was no need to hold-up the ratification process.