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US, Russia begin nuclear reduction talks

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Post US, Russia begin nuclear reduction talks    Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:07 am

US and Russia have pushed forpeaceful nuk energy use and said they had begun talks to trim theirnuclear arsenals "to the lowest possible level" ahead of the expiry ofa landmark strategic weapons agreement. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which led to the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons under the largest arms control accord in history, expires in 2009."The United States and Russia reiterate their intention to carry out strategic offensive reductions to the lowest possible level consistent with their national security requirements and alliance commitments," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said in a joint statement issued in Washington on Tuesday."To this end, ministers discussed development of a post-START arrangement to provide continuity and predictability regarding strategic offensive forces," they said, a day after US President George W Bush and Russian leader Vladimir Putin held summit talks.Rice and Lavrov had met on the sidelines of the summit at the US leader's parents' vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.On the instructions of their leaders, Rice and Lavrov said Moscow and Washington would continue these discussions "with a view toward early results" on the reduction of their nuclear arsenals.Bush and Putin in May 2002 signed the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, limiting the two powers to a strategic nuclear arsenal of 1,700 to 2,200 operationally deployed warheads each. It expires in 2012.
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