Don't stop, START
November 20th, 2010
05:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Don't stop, START

LISBON, Portugal (CNN) – Several nations once in the shadow of the Iron Curtain have a message for Republicans in Congress: Don't stop New START before it starts.

Making their appeal on behalf of the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty, the foreign ministers of Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Lithuania crashed a Saturday press conference by a senior U.S. administration official about talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. While President Barack Obama has said ratifying the treaty should be a top priority for Congress, key Republican senators have said they don't think a vote on it should be held before the new Congress convenes in January.

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said she spearheaded the media blitz to "make the Republican Party aware of how important this is."

"If (New) START is not ratified, it will have a real impact on European security," she said. "We hope we can sign it as soon as possible."

As if to give her group extra street cred, Espersen said she was the chairman of the Conservative Party of Denmark.

"Nobody can ever accuse me of being soft on security," she said.

"We're all conservatives," Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi quipped.

Martonyi added that Hungary has a "very special experience with Russia, and also a special geographic location."

"We advocate ratification of START," he said. "It is in the interest of my nation, of Europe and most importantly for the trans-Atlantic alliance."

Demark and Norway are long-time members of NATO, while the others represented Saturday are ex-Soviet bloc states who have joined in recent years.

The group said the Obama administration did not ask them to make such a statement. But Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, who visited Washington last week, said he discussed the treaty with Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and New START holdout who has argued the treaty needed more discussion before passage.

Although some Republican opponents of the treaty have argued Obama has sold out former Soviet republics with a treaty that leaves them vulnerable, Azubalis said his country saw the treaty as a necessary "prologue, an entrance" for broader discussions with Russia about other "more dangerous" nuclear arms in Europe.

"(New) START is not just the key to security, it is key to the new strategic concept of NATO, which reaches out in partnership to other countries," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, adding that not approving the treaty would be a "missed opportunity for all of us."


Filed under: President Obama • START treaty
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. DDM

    Party of obstruction/ party of 'NO' probably doesn't give a crap-a$$ about any input, well-informed or not.

    November 20, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. michaelam

    Some people elected some very dangerous cu los to Congress. Hey, Senator Kyl and the rest of the obstructionists...this is no longer a petty, playground game. You are now placing our country at risk and should be charged with treason.

    Hey Eric Holder!!!! Grow a pair and do your job! Start indicting these cu los!

    November 20, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. L

    This is so pathetic.

    Reagan began START. Foreign Policy leaders from both parties all endorse its renewal. This is carrying "NO" to absurd extremes.

    November 20, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Former Republican - Now Independent

    I believe it is obvious that we need to do what is best for the U.S. and the U.S. only.

    November 20, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. GOP is tone deaf!

    How to win friends and influence people? Not, the GOPTea party their off to a bad start. But, this will be the future of our foreign policy if the GOPTea Party if in charge. GOPTea Party are stepping on the foot of the Pentagon,Sec of State, NATO and the Pres. of US all for the quest for a tax cut for the rich. We and the World are all at risk!

    November 20, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. gary

    Now, not only the republicans are against giving anything to the American middle class and the unemployed, they are saying NO to Nations throughout the World. All republicans are self-centered, full of their own ego and think they speak for the american public. They speak for no one except theirselves and their rich buddies. They should not be allowed to call themselves americans. The entire world must be laughing at the United States

    November 20, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Clwyd

    The members and leaders of NATO plus Russia have stated that the Start Treaty needs to be signed. What are the GD republicans waiting for? They have placed the security and safety of Americans in jeopardy for their own political reasons. I hope that those of you who voted for these nuts are pleased and I hope when they make cuts in Soc. Security it will finally hit some of you as to what your ignorance has brought us!!

    November 20, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    Even the rest of the world has to explaine things to the idiot repos. Babs had the best comments about Palin. Does she know what NATO is? It seems the whole world is tired of the repos. BBC commentater said he thought they where bonkers and said the tea party was full of nutters. How right they are

    November 20, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. George of the jungle

    to ratify this treaty with president obama in office would go against everything the repos are trying to do. The party of No will continue to obstruct and we all know it. They are crying jobs but hey you have been here two years too. and all you newly elected people whats the matter you would have expected the president to have done something in his first two weeks. We are tired of having you tell us what the people want.

    November 20, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    The new congress begins in January. The American voters have chosen who they want to represent them in the new congress. If Obama truly does respect the American people he will work important legislation with the new congress.
    We all know Obama's arrogance outweighs his respect for the will of ordinary Americans.

    November 20, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Death Panel Sarah

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!
    The reptiliCONs never listen to anything from anyone in Europe!!!

    November 20, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Death Panel Sarah

    The reptiliCONs think they are smarter than Europeans, when they are really MUCH dumber!!!

    November 20, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. Death Panel Sarah

    ReptiliCONs always make more money in an arms race than in peace talks!!!

    November 20, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. J. Richter

    We the American people promoted Republicans for picking against everything Obama proposes regardless of whether it was both good for the country and what they supported in the past (deficit commission, tax cuts for small businesses, investment tax credit, lowering capital gains, pay as you go, cap and trade). If something proves to be career enhancing at the work place no matter how self serving, wouldnt almost anyone just keep doing the same? It is not nearly as much the Republican's fault as it is ours as a whole.

    November 20, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. lforlegend

    Them fools won't be satisfied til this country implodes and they'll doing all they can to make it happen. How disgusting!!

    November 20, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. Kara

    No longer content to simply endanger their own citizens, the republicans are now playing politics with the rest of the world's security as well.

    November 20, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. chapalody

    I guess Obama and the Democrats forgot to mention that the START treaty expired last December when they held all the power. Obama didn't think about security then did he when it came to spending so much time on his health care bill. We didn't hear a word from Hillary or Gates either did we. They stayed silent until Obama got his health care bill. Now their crying wolf.

    November 20, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. James Powell

    The Republicans have moved the country onto thin ice with their opposition to the START Treaty. There are times even in our polarized poltical arena where Republicans are going to have to work with the President. This is one of those times. National security trumps petty partisanship.

    November 20, 2010 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. George of the jungle

    Makes sense don't extend unemployment benifits but let's keep the tax breaks for the rich. You repos are a real piece of work.Average working joe just bend over.

    November 21, 2010 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  20. Bill from GA

    Like those repugs in the Senate will listen to a bunch of European Socialists. They only listen to the Amerikan people; and if the Merican people don't tell em what they want to hear, them dirtbags just make it up, by golly

    November 21, 2010 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  21. TOTAL FACT

    WHo in Hades oputside of Obama said that the Republicans was going to stop START. You people overreact so muc you are pitiful. By now you surely should be able to not believe everything the Democrats want to put out. The Republicans and the Tea Partiers are so ready for treaty pacts with Russia. We have to have solid friends like Great Britan, Canada, France, Italy, Israel, an hopefully Russia. Obama has sold our sole to the devil in the Red Chinese. He is also Islamic so therefore his alliance lies with the Middle Eastern countries. Don't count on him to do anything responsible for the U.S.

    November 21, 2010 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    C'mon CNN get your facts right Senator Kyl is the only one who asked for it to be delayed. Others "might follow his way but no one actually knows yet. And even he says discussion is ongoing re the vote. Biden has also been on record. Your " full report" goes nowhere the the current overall real facts.
    If this is Republicans idea of Bi- partisanship boy did we voters make a big mistake. Look at the recent line up of bipartisan big wigs that lined up in favour of this. The laugh a minute is KYL wants more defence funds allocated here ha ha to reducing debt smaller government. When will he get it this reduces international tensions and allows bigger savings in military expenditure in future but there's the Rub for KYL.and Republicans.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    November 21, 2010 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  23. IVOTE

    John McCain should retire now. He is showing signs of his lack of focus with all this flip flopping. Tomorrow he will be all for START, just wait and see.

    November 21, 2010 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  24. Sherri W.W.

    WEL~the Republicans are sure "busy"~seems they just do NOT care about the country or the people[unless they are rich,of course]~already,no unemployment for folks~ at Christmas time too! Now they are trying to put our whole nation in danger~even when MANY heads of state have warned them not to do it.They are NOT going to get over they hate an predjudise for President Obama,no matter that this President is really trying to do for the people~and sadly half are too blind, or too dumb,to see it until its too late!!

    November 21, 2010 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  25. shifter12hrs

    This president is one of the hardest working we've had in the past 10 years....keep going forward.

    November 21, 2010 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
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