U.S., Russian FMs discuss START, Iran

08:11, May 19, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on U.S.-Russia nuclear disarmament treaty. (Xinhua/Wang Fengfeng)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the progress of the ratification of a new treaty on strategic arms reduction (START) on Tuesday.

They also spoke by phone about the Iranian nuclear program and the timetable of the upcoming U.S.-Russian high-level meetings.

Both sides confirmed their intentions to complete the ratification process in the shortest time possible, according to the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Hearings on the U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament treaty started in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, with the participation of Clinton along with the Pentagon chief, Robert Gates.

Under the new START treaty, the warheads held by the two nuclear superpowers will be reduced to 1,500 each, about 30 percent lower than the previous treaty's limitation. Strategic offensive weapons will be based solely on the national territories of Russia and the United States.

The widely hailed new pact is conducive to easing frustrated U. S.-Russian ties and pushing forward nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation process on a global scale.

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