Medvedev Warns of ‘Premature End’ to Treaty

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says the new nuclear-weapons treaty he just signed with President Obama, START, would be put in “jeopardy” if the U.S. builds up its missile defense program in Europe enough to create “imbalance.” Medvedev told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Monday that America and Russia had negotiated a specific “formula” in the START treaty that asserts there is “interconnection between the strategic offensive arms and missile defense.” Change would endanger the agreement, the Russian leader said, though “that doesn't mean that because of that rule, if the American side starts to build up the missile system the treaty would automatically lose its power.” The missile defense system has long been a sore point in talks between the two countries, and if Medvedev felt the system was a real threat, the treaty would meet a “premature end.” Obama has said he’s confident the Russians won’t walk away from START, however.