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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, U.S. likely to agree on arms reduction deal by yearend

RIA Novosti

23:25 20/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday the chances to reach agreements with the United States on a new strategic arms reduction treaty by the end of 2009 are "high enough."

"If we agree by the yearend, and I believe the chances are high enough, this would be useful both for us and the entire global community," Medvedev told CNN.

Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in July in Moscow on the outline of a deal to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), which expires on December 5, including cutting their countries' nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

The START-1 treaty obliges Russia and the U.S. 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.

According to a report published by the U.S. State Department in April, as of January 1 Russia had 3,909 nuclear warheads and 814 delivery vehicles, including ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers.

The same report said the United States had 5,576 warheads and 1,198 delivery vehicles.

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