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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, U.S. might sign new arms reduction treaty soon - Lavrov

RIA Novosti


MEXICO, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - A new Russian-U.S. treaty on nuclear arms reduction might be concluded soon on the condition that both sides follow the previously reached agreements, the Russian foreign minister said on Wednesday.

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 agreement, which expired on December 5, 2009, with a new deal.

"All vital issues of the new treaty on strategic arms were solved in talks between presidents [Dmitry] Medvedev and [Barack] Obama, and in a series of negotiations between the chiefs of the general staffs. We can conclude the treaty very soon if we just follow these agreements," Sergei Lavrov told a news conference in Mexico, without giving an exact date.

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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