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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New arms cuts treaty ready soon - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

21:01 18/12/2009 COPENHAGEN, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and the United States will finalize a new strategic arms reduction treaty in the near future, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday at a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

The presidents met on the sidelines of the Copenhagen climate summit to discuss a deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1) that expired on December 5.

"Some technical details remain that require additional work," Medvedev said, adding that the sides had agreed on almost all the issues discussed in recent months.

Obama said that the two sides had made "excellent progress" and were "quite close" to an agreement.

A Russian presidential aide said earlier in the day that Russian and U.S. negotiators had suspended talks on the new arms reduction deal until January.

"The delegations have been working almost without a break for several months and...will have a small break now. They will have the Christmas holidays," Sergei Prikhodko told

journalists after Medvedev and Obama's meeting.

"The presidents have expressed their confidence that work on the treaty and the accompanying documents will be completed in the near future," he said.

Medvedev and Obama announced at their first meeting in April that the two countries would replace the START 1 treaty as part of their efforts to "reset" bilateral ties strained in recent years.

The treaty's outline agreed by the presidents included cutting nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

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