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New START Support from Abroad

U.S. Allies Support New START Ratification

SOURCE: AP/Armando Franca

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated, “Ratification of the START treaty will contribute strongly to an improvement of the overall security environment in the Euro-Atlantic area."

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America’s allies strongly favor ratification of New START. Leaders from countries across Europe have voiced their support for the treaty as a further means of enhancing European security. Some Republican senators have attempted to portray the treaty as a bad deal for American allies in Europe, particularly those in Eastern Europe close to Russia. Those claims are unfounded and all of NATO, particularly countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Bulgaria, has urged the Senate to ratify New START.

NATO Summit Declaration (unanimous declaration by 28 NATO members): “We welcome the conclusion of the New START Treaty and look forward to its early ratification and entry into force.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “Ratification of the START treaty will contribute strongly to an improvement of the overall security environment in the Euro-Atlantic area. … I’d also have to say that it is a matter of concern that a delayed ratification of the START treaty will be damaging to the overall security environment in Europe. So we strongly urge both parties to ratify the START treaty as early as possible.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “We have to thank President Obama that he negotiated a New START treaty. I would wish that the New START treaty would also be ratified.”

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski: “My government supports the ratification of New START, because we believe it will bolster our country’s security, and that of Europe as a whole. … ratification of New START will increase mutual trust and show that the West and Russia, despite our disagreements, can work together on issues critical to our common security. Any delay to the treaty, however, will embolden those in Moscow who would rather have the West as an enemy than as a partner—and who thus would like to see the tenuous progress made in recent months to be undone.”

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen: “Besides being minister for foreign affairs, I’m also the chairman of the Conservative Party in Denmark, which is the sister party of the Republican Party. So nobody will ever accuse me of being soft on security. And this is the reason why I said … it could be fruitful for us as a broad member of NATO—the North, the East, the Central—to say why it’s important for us that the START treaty is ratified … as soon as possible.”

Latvian Foreign Minister Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis: “I want to underline that Euro-Atlantic cooperation is very important for security of my state. And of course, START II [sic] treaty ratification in Congress we support very strongly, and also this policy of President Obama and his administration is very important for security of our region.”

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis: “We see this treaty as a prologue, as an entrance to start talks about substrategical weaponry, which is much more even dangerous, and it’s quite difficult to detect. And we are, who are living in the East Europe, especially, know this. That’s what we are for START treaty.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi: “My country has a very special historic experience with Russia. We also have a special geographic location. And with all that historic and geographic background, we wholeheartedly advocate the ratification of START. It’s a general interest of my region, of Europe, and indeed, most importantly, of the transatlantic alliance. It’s also a global interest, and I would very much encourage, for this reason, not to kill START before it starts.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store: “Norway neighbors Russia. We live a few kilometers from one of the largest nuclear arsenals there is. And as my colleague from Lithuania said, this is an entry point to a process which can keep bringing these levels down. And if those levels go down, we can do a lot of other things, which will enhance security. So missing this opportunity, I think for all us Europeans, is really something of great concern.”

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov: “START is not just key to the security of Europe but it is key to making sure that today what we managed to achieve in the new Strategic Concept, and that is a NATO that reaches out in partnership with—to other countries, can actually be implemented. So all I can say is, don’t stop START before it’s started.”

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