US ambassador: Russia arms deal to mention missile shield

MOSCOW — The United States and Russia have agreed that a new arms control treaty will mention a link between offensive nuclear arms and defenses against them, the US ambassador to Moscow said Thursday, signaling a possible breakthrough in arms reduction talks.
Russian foreign policy experts said Ambassador John Beyrle's statement in his blog post could mean that US-Russian talks will soon produce a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START.
The Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment, but some Russian analysts said Beyrle's statement paved the way for a quick signing of the nuclear arms deal after months of tough bargaining.
Beyrle's statement indicated the US stance has shifted.
"The treaty deals with offensive, not defensive systems, but since we acknowledge a logical link between them, our presidents have agreed that the treaty will contain a provision on the interconnection between strategic offensive and defensive weapons," he said in his Russian-language blog.
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