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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia-U.S. strategic deal demands 'radical' arms cuts - Lavrov

RIA Novosti


TASHKENT, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - The new Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty envisions "radical" cuts in the number of strategic offensive weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"The treaty will stipulate radical, unprecedented cuts in strategic offensive weapons," Lavrov said, addressing the faculty and students at the University of Global Economy and Diplomacy in the Uzbek capital.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama announced at their first meeting in April that the countries would replace the START I treaty as part of their efforts to "reset" bilateral ties.

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.

Lavrov said the new treaty would "envision symmetrical [arms cuts] measures based on mutual trust and certain control procedures," and link the reduction of nuclear arsenals with limitations on the number of non-nuclear strategic offensive weapons possessed by both countries.

Moscow and Washington are expected to sign the new document to replace START I treaty, which expired on December 5, at the beginning of 2010.

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