Obama to call Medvedev on new START treaty: White House

22:07, March 26, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama will soon call his Russia counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to finalize a new nuclear disarmament treaty, the White House said Friday.

The phone conversation was scheduled to take place at 10:00 EDT (14:00 GMT).

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the United States and Russia are "very close" to reaching a new agreement to replace the expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty but some details still need to be worked out.

"We won't have one until President Obama and his counterpart Medvedev have a chance to speak," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said the new treaty would be signed in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, the city where Obama announced his vision of a nuclear-free world on April 5, 2009.

Under the new and more ambitious initiative, the nuclear warheads held by the two super nuclear powers are expected to be reduced to between 1,500 and 1,675.

The two leaders promised to work together in the spirit of the START treaty following its Dec. 5 expiration in order to ensure that a new arms agreement enter into force at the earliest possible date.

Both Obama and Medvedev consider the arm control process as a vital step in boosting mutual trust between the two countries, and in ensuring that other countries work with them together for a nuclear-free world.

Source: Xinhua
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