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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian, U.S. leaders commit to further arms control cooperation

RIA Novosti

18:53 04/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday they would continue arms reduction cooperation after the expiry of the START I treaty, the Kremlin said.

The treaty expires on Saturday.

They also confirmed that security guarantees to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus as non-nuclear states under the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances would be in effect after December 5.

A Russian Foreign Ministry source said earlier on Friday Russian-U.S. talks on a new agreement would continue.

Moscow and Washington are negotiating a replacement for the current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the basis for Russian-U.S. strategic nuclear disarmament.

An outline of the new pact was agreed during the presidents' bilateral summit in Moscow in July and includes cutting their countries' nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

START I commits the parties to reducing their nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600 each. In 2002, a follow-up strategic arms reduction agreement was concluded in Moscow. The document, known as the Moscow Treaty, envisioned cuts to 1,700-2,200 warheads by December 2012.

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