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Russia to cut nukes if US offers assurances on missile defense

June 20, 2009 16:29

Russia is ready for deep cuts of strategic nuclear weapons in a new deal with the United States if the US eases Moscow's concerns about plans for a missile defense system, President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday. Medvedev lifted hopes for progress when President Barack Obama visits Moscow July 6-9 for talks focusing on replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December. Launching the talks was part of Obama's efforts to improve ties with Russia, which plunged to a post-Cold War low under the previous US administration. US and Russian arms negotiators have met several times in the last two months to prepare for the Moscow summit, with much of the discussion revolving around the missile defense system the US had planned to install in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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