Signed, sealed, delivered

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED…. In Prague this morning, Presidents Obama and Medvedev put their signatures on a new nuclear arms treaty, the most significant in nearly two decades.

Meeting here in the heart of a once-divided Europe, the two leaders put aside the acrimony that has characterized Russian-American ties in recent years as they agreed to bring down their arsenals and restore an inspection regime that expired in December. Along the way, they sidestepped unresolved disputes over missile defense and other issues.

“When the United States and Russia are not able to work together on big issues, it is not good for either of our nations, nor is it good for the world,” Mr. Obama said as his words echoed through a majestic, gilded hall in the famed Prague Castle. “Together, we have stopped the drift, and proven the benefits of cooperation. Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations.”

Mr. Medvedev called the treaty signing “a truly historic event” that will “open a new page” in Russian-American relations. “What matters most is this is a win-win situation,” he said. “No one stands to lose from this agreement. I believe this is a typical feature of our cooperation. Both parties have won.”

The treaty, which nearly didn’t happen, will now move to the Senate for consideration. For ratification, it will need 67 votes

Fred Kaplan had a good piece recently on the treaty and its larger significance.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.