WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of the New START agreement:
“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has taken an important step today in ensuring the security of the American people by approving the resolution of ratification for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia. The agreement provides for predictability, transparency and stability in the U.S. Russian nuclear relationship. The opportunity to examine Russian nuclear forces will help limit the surprises, mistrust or miscalculation that could result from a lack of information.
“Since the original START treaty with the Russian Federation lapsed last year, we have not been able to access Russian nuclear weapons sites. Inspecting Russian nuclear weapons sites is a central element of this treaty and without this capability we have been in the dark for more than 285 days. This is unacceptable and I am glad that this bi-partisan vote for the treaty in the committee marks a key step towards final ratification on the floor.
“I would like to applaud the efforts of Senator Kerry who worked to ensure that this was a bipartisan process within the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I am confident that this treaty will enjoy broad bipartisan support when it comes before the full Senate. I look forward to voting on the New START accord on Senate floor as soon as possible.”