February 2, 2011 / 5:46 PM / in 8 years

Obama signs New START treaty documents

President Barack Obama signs the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, February 2, 2011. Looking on are (L-R) Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed documents on Wednesday ratifying the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, an important component of the administration’s “restart” of its relationship with Moscow.

Under the treaty, the two sides must reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 in seven years and reduce deployed long-range missiles and bombers to no more than 700.

The treaty will formally come into force on Saturday when U.S. Secretary State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchange the ratification documents.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler

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