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The United States and Russia say a new strategic arms agreement will be formally announced when the presidents of both countries have spoken with one another about it. White House and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen say the conversation is expected soon. A new accord would set an auspicious tone for President Barack Obama's nuclear summit in Washington on April 12 and 13. The agreement faced difficult negotiations, and more problems could emerge during ratification in the U.S. Senate.
Before the United States and Soviet Union signed the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) both sides had tens of thousands of nuclear warheads. The pact mandated a reduction to about 6,000.
Delivery systems, such as missiles and bombers, will also be limited.
It also raises expectations for further weapons reductions in the years ahead.
And success of that conference, said Mr. Ban, can help the whole world live without fear of nuclear weapons.