President of USA, Barak Obama, will today announce that he is to dramatically narrow the conditions under which the United States will use nuclear weapons, even for self-defence.
In an interview with The New York Times ahead of the unveiling of his much anticipated revamped nuclear policy, Mr Obama said an exception would be made for "outliers like Iran and North Korea" that have violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But in a striking departure from the position taken by his predecessors, he said that the US would explicitly commit for the first time to not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that adhere to the nuclear treaty, even if they attack with biological or chemical weapons.
The review of the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal has involved, among others, the Pentagon, the Department of Energy and the intelligence services, as well as the White House. Mr Obama's re-written policy comes as he prepares to fly to Prague on Thursday to sign the landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with President Medvedev of Russia, Times Online reported.
According to RIA Novosti, Russia may withdraw from the arms reduction treaty if Washington significantly increases its missile defense, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama are to sign a new strategic arms treaty on Thursday in Prague. The pact will replace the START 1 treaty, the cornerstone of post-Cold War arms control, which expired on December 5.
"Russia has the right to withdraw from the strategic nuclear weapons treaty if a quantitative and qualitative increase in U.S. strategic missile defense significantly influences the effectiveness of Russian strategic nuclear forces," the minister said adding that Russia itself will determine the extent of such influence and that this was a specific precondition of Russia.