U.S. national security adviser visits Russia for arms talks
MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. president's national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, is visiting Russia for nuclear arms reduction talks.
Welcoming the U.S. general, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his visit was "very timely."
"We believe that intensive efforts will allow us to fulfill our presidents' agreements to sign a new START treaty by the time the current treaty expires," Lavrov said.
Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have hoped a new strategic arms control agreement will be ready by early December, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
The outlines of the new pact were agreed during the presidents' summit in Moscow in July and include cutting their countries' nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.
START 1 obliges the countries to reduce nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600 each. In 2002, a follow-up agreement on strategic offensive arms reduction was concluded in Moscow. The document, known as the Moscow Treaty, envisioned cuts to 1,700-2,200 warheads by December 2012.
The latest round of talks took place in Geneva two weeks ago.
Observers have suggested that in Moscow Jones could also raise harsher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions and renewed tensions over Washington's missile defense plans for Europe.
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