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Associated Press, Published April 05 2010

Air Force chief says US-Russia treat impact on Minot Air Force Base would be modest

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The Air Force chief of staff says a proposed U.S.-Russia treaty to reduce nuclear weapons could impact Minot Air Force Base but "not dramatically."

Gen. Norton Schwartz visited the base late last week. He says President Barack Obama's vision is that nuclear weapons will have less significance in the nation's defense strategy, but Schwartz also says nuclear weapons are not going to disappear any time soon.

The Minot base has two missions — B-52 bombers and Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The proposed treaty would require the U.S. and Russia to reduce their nuclear warheads over the next seven years by 30 percent. But it doesn't say where those cuts would come.

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are expected to sign the treaty this week. It must then be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.