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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev to meet U.S. secretary of state in Moscow next week

RIA Novosti

16:41 09/10/2009 CHISINAU, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Moscow next week, the Russian foreign minister said on Friday.

"We expect that Clinton will be received by the president," Sergei Lavrov said.

Clinton will be in Russia on an official visit on October 12-14.

Lavrov said that during his meeting with Clinton the two would discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, the situation in Afghanistan and the "worrisome" Middle East peace process.

"Of course, Iran and Afghanistan will be [on the agenda]. We are no indifferent to what is happening in Afghanistan," he said, describing developments in the Central Asia country as "a serious problem."

He said Russia was training both civil and police personnel for Afghanistan. Russia, jointly with Germany, transferred two helicopters to the Afghan police in August.

Lavrov expressed the hope that a new strategic arms reduction treaty would be ready by December 5, when the current START agreement expires, and said every effort was being made to meet the deadline.

He also said he would seek to obtain clarity on Washington's missile defense plans.

"At the talks on the assessment of missile proliferation threats with the Americans we want to see clearly the meaning of the new scheme our U.S. colleagues have decided to create," Lavrov said.

President Barack Obama announced in September that his administration was backing off plans to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. According to the new plan, land-based missile-defenses will not be implemented before 2015, with a sea-based system to operate until then.

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