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23 Sep, 2009 16:48

“US and Russia just the first countries in nuclear disarmament”

As the US and Russia have about 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, they will have to carry the major share of the disarmament burden in the early stages, says Thomas Pickering, former US ambassador to Russia.

He added that the group Global Zero, to which Pickering belongs, believes that at a certain point in the future, maybe in five to seven years, other nuclear armed nations will begin to join the US and Russia and move in the direction of disarmament.

“The importance of what happens today is that it will set the stage for both the US-Russia disarmament and then for the summit on global disarmament and non-proliferation, which President Obama has asked for and which will take place in the spring,” Pickering said.

Last week, US President Barack Obama announced plans to overhaul Bush-era proposals for a missile shield in Eastern Europe and on Wednesday he will meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for the first time since that decision.