The U.S. and Russia broke a logjam in their arms-control talks, clearing the way for President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to sign an arms-reduction treaty in April. The agreement, which would replace the now-expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991, would require both sides to reduce their warheads and launchers by more than 25 percent. The administration views the pact as a steppingstone toward more ambitious reductions later in Obama’s term.
The original deadline for an agreement was last December, but squabbles over verification and missile-defense programs kept the two sides apart. The deal gives Obama new momentum in his push for a multinational nonproliferation treaty.