US President Barack Obama will renew his call to reduce the world’s nuclear stockpiles, including a proposed one-third reduction in US and Russian arsenals, the White House said.
Obama will make his case during a speech on Wednesday at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.
His address comes nearly 50 years after John F. Kennedy’s famous Cold War speech in this once-divided city.
The president has previously called for reductions to the stockpiles and is not expected to outline a timeline for this renewed push.
But by addressing the issue in a major foreign policy speech, Obama is signalling a desire to rekindle an issue that was a centrepiece of his early first-term national security agenda.
The president discussed non-proliferation with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met Monday on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. During Obama’s first term, the US and Russia agreed to limit their stockpiles to 1,550 as part of the New START Treaty.
The Kremlin responded to the US president’s proposals by saying that new cuts in nuclear stockpiles should expand beyond Russia and the United States and include other nuclear armed states.
“The process of cutting down nuclear potential should include other countries with nuclear weapons,” Russian diplomats told Washington ahead of Obama’s expected speech on the subject in Germany, foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said at a briefing in Moscow.