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Russia, U.S. likely to sign arms treaty in April: report

English.news.cn   2010-03-20 16:28:58 FeedbackPrintRSS

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MOSCOW, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia and the United States probably will sign a long-awaited new strategic arms reduction treaty (START) in April, the Russian daily Kommersant reported Saturday.

The treaty will be signed in the Czech capital of Prague before Washington hosts the Nuclear Security Summit on April 12-13, a diplomatic source told the newspaper.

After Friday's talks between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Yuri Ushakov, deputy head of the Russian government office, said the two sides would "most probably" sign the treaty in April in Europe.

Russia and the United States have been working on a new treaty since Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama met last April in an effort to "reset" ties that had plunged to an unprecedented low during the final days of the Bush administration.

Despite rounds of negotiations, the two sides failed to reach a pact before the original 1991 START expired in December.

An outline of the new treaty, agreed to by both presidents, includes slashing nuclear warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 and delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,000.

The source said negotiators in Geneva are finalizing the document's wording, "taking into account the nuances of Russian and English."

He also said the document acknowledges a linkage with planned U.S.missile defense elements in Europe.

Moscow has repeatedly demanded that a link between missile defense and offensive weapons cuts be included in the new START treaty.

Previous reports said Ukraine had suggested the signing to be held in Kiev, a proposal welcomed by Russia, but the source said the United States rejected that suggestion.

Editor: Lin Zhi
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