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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia-U.S. arms cuts treaty must be equal for both - Lavrov

RIA Novosti


MANAGUA, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - A new treaty on nuclear arms reduction between Russia and the United States will not be granting any unilateral benefits, the Russian foreign minister said.

Russia and the United States are in talks to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1), the cornerstone of post-Cold War arms control, which expired in December with a new deal.

"The new treaty must be equal [for both sides] and will not be granting any unilateral benefits to any party," Sergei Lavrov said after he arrived on a one-day official visit to Nicaragua.

Early in the month, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev ordered a speedy completion of the deal.

Obama and Medvedev pledged at their first meeting in April 2009 to replace the START I treaty as part of broader efforts to "reset" bilateral ties strained in recent years.

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

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