Russia says it has agreed with the United States to maintain the provisions of a major nuclear arms control treaty hours before it is set to expire.
In a joint statement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US counterpart Barack Obama released by the Kremlin, the two sides pledged to continue to work together "in the spirit" of the expiring 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The White House said it had planned to issue a similar statement Saturday.
Meanwhile, US and Russian negotiators are working intensively to reach a deal for a successor treaty.
The US-Russian pledge would appear to mean that the two sides would continue to respect the expiring limits on arms and to allow inspectors to continue verifying that both sides are living up to the deal.