Russia: Arms deal with US possible within weeks

January 27, 2010 13:49


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Russian and US negotiators could hammer out a new nuclear arms reduction deal within weeks, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The statement from ministry spokesman Igor Lyakin-Frolov followed weeks of uncertainty and sent a strong signal that the long-running talks were nearing an end. "We hope it will take just a few weeks for our negotiators to reach agreement," Lyakin-Frolov said in a telephone interview.

Russia and the US have been negotiating a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, that expired on December 5. They had hoped to reach a deal before the end of the year, but differences persisted and officials had been evasive about a timeline.

Lyakin-Frolov said the consultations held during last week's visit to Moscow by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and retired Gen. Jim Jones, President Barack Obama's national security adviser, were successful.

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