From Associated Press, via MSNBC:

The U.S. Senate approved a new strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia on Wednesday, handing President Barack Obama a major foreign policy victory in his drive to improve ties with Moscow and curb the spread of atomic weapons to other countries.

The Senate voted 71-26 in favor of ratification after a contentious debate that threatened traditional bipartisanship on national security affairs.

The treaty limits each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also establishes a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended last year with the expiration of a 1991 treaty.

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