Russia, U.S. look to date for signing new arms treaty

11:16, March 14, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday that it was now possible to talk about specific dates for signing a new arms reduction treaty, the Kremlin said.

Medvedev spoke over phone on Saturday with Obama about the preparation for a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1) that expired on Dec. 5, 2009.

"Both sides expressed satisfaction with the high level of agreement in the major provisions of the draft treaty," Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying in a statement.

"They stressed that it is now possible to talk about specific dates to submit the new treaty for signing by the heads of state," it said.

The Kremlin added that the presidents agreed to give extra instructions to their negotiators and discussed plans for bilateral contacts in the near future.

Russia and the United States have been working on a new arms control deal since Medvedev and Obama met in April last year, but the U.S. plan to deploy elements of a missile defense system in East Europe has been a major sticking point.

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