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6 Jul, 2009 07:57

Only presidents can push START through

The absolute key to a successful negotiation is presidential intervention, insists Dr William Potter, the head of Non-proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

A new arms reduction treaty is to replace the current one, known as START, which ends in December.

RT: What are your hopes for this visit?

William Potter: OK, you asked ‘hopes’, not ‘expectations’. I have high hopes and somewhat more modest expectations. I think that the meeting is important because you have two relatively-new presidents meeting at a very important moment to discuss a vital issue, namely the START replacement treaty. I think that that treaty – or some kind of START replacement which has important verification provisions, is legally binding, and reduces further the number of nuclear weapons – is very much in the interests of both countries. And it is not that I'm optimistic. It derives from the fact that there is really a convergence of economic and strategic interests with respect to START replacement. It should be possible to conclude a START replacement treaty that satisfies both countries’ concerns. The devil, however, is in the details.

To learn more please watch the video of his interview.