US, Russia Note Progress on Nuclear Arms Treaty
By VOA News
13 October 2009
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the United States and Russia have made "considerable" progress on plans to reduce their nuclear arsenals.
Lavrov made the comments to reporters Tuesday following his meeting in Moscow with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton reiterated that negotiators are aiming to reach a new treaty by the time the current START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement expires in early December.
Clinton said the United States is also interested in cooperating with Russia on a new U.S. missile defense plan to counter the threat from Iran.
Lavrov said Russia needs more details on the plan before deciding whether it will be possible to work with the U.S. on the project.
Clinton is expected to discuss the issue with President Dmitri Medvedev when they meet Tuesday.
Russia has welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a Bush administration plan to build missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Moscow had considered that proposed system to be a security threat.
The Obama administration has made an effort to "reset" relations with Moscow, which were strained during the Bush years.
While Clinton praised Russian cooperation on Iran, and North Korea, she said there will continue to be disagreements. She said Washington and Moscow will not "see eye to eye" on Georgia, reiterating that the United States does not recognize the independence of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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