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|Saturday, January 13, 2001, updated at 13:54(GMT+8)|
Clinton Predicts New US-Russia Arms ReductionsUS President Bill Clinton late Thursday predicted his successor George W. Bush would be able to find common ground with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a new round of nuclear arms reductions.
The Russians have warned that nuclear arms agreements reached at the end of the Cold War could unravel if the United States withdraws from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to build a missile defense system.
"I expect that there will be a further reduction in nuclear warheads by both countries," Clinton said. "That's one thing I think the Bush administration will be in a position to do."
"Because of the development of our relationships, I expect that President Putin and then-President Bush will be successful in continuing to reduce the nuclear arsenals," he said.
On the missile defense system, Clinton said the United States has "almost a moral obligation" to pursue the technology but that there should be a way to share it with other countries so it is not destabilizing.
"If we deploy the system in a way that leads to more proliferation and more insecurity, that's very problematic and it's one of the things that I had to consider," Clinton said.
For example, he said, if the United States intended the system to counteract missiles based in the Middle East and North Korea, China could interpret the move as trying to contain them.
"If they did that, the Indians would decide that they needed more, under the present state of play (with Pakistan). If they did that, the Pakistanis would certainly build more," he said.
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