The United States and Russia have formally inaugurated their new nuclear arms reduction pact.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchanged the final ratification papers for the New START treaty in Munich on February 5 while attending an annual security conference.
The pact cuts existing warhead ceilings by 30 percent over the next 10 years and limits each side to 700 deployed long-range missiles and heavy bombers.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has made better ties with Russia a priority for the alliance, told the Munich Security Conference that the pact would "pave the way for a better security climate in the Euro-Atlantic Area."
The U.S. administration has touted the treaty as a key element to improving ties with Moscow, as well as a major step in U.S. President Barack Obama's vision of a world free of atomic weapons.
compiled from agency reports