President Barack Obama said he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are countering "a sense of drift" in relations between their nations with preliminary agreement Monday to reduce the world's two largest nuclear stockpiles to as few as 1,500 warheads each. "We must lead by example, and that's what we are doing here today," Obama said as he and his Russian host pointed their arsenals toward the lowest levels of any US-Russia arms control agreement.
"We resolve to reset U.S.-Russian relations so that we can cooperate more effectively in areas of common interest," Obama said.
The document signed at Obama's first summit in Russia is meant as a guide for negotiators as the nations work toward a replacement pact for the START arms control agreement that expires in December. The joint understanding completed by Obama and Medvedev, signed after about three hours of talks at the Kremlin, also commits the updated treaty to lower longer-range missiles for delivering nuclear bombs to between 500 and 1,100. The limit for warheads would be no more than 1,675 each.