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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev says arms deal talks with U.S. making good progress

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Talks on a new strategic arms reduction deal with the U.S. are difficult, but many points have been agreed on, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday.

"Negotiations will continue," he said. "They are tough, but in general we have agreed on many points with the Americans."

A new document to replace the START 1 treaty, which expired on December 5, has not been signed yet over disagreements on verification and control arrangements to be included in the document.

The new treaty's outline, as agreed on by the Russian and U.S. presidents, includes cutting nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

"We have taken a large step forward, and we have reached agreement to a significant degree in our positions," Medvedev also said.

He also stressed that he would like to discuss the issue with the leaders of Russia's main political parties.

"This is a foreign policy issue, but it is of extreme importance and will, in the final analysis, determine the face of Russia for years to come."

Medvedev also stressed that the ratification of any future deal should be carried out by Russia and the U.S. simultaneously.

"Either we simultaneously ratify the document...or this process may not take place at all," he said.

"I think this is something or American partners should know about," he added.

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