Russian diplomat criticizes US over arms control

A senior Russian diplomat harshly criticized the US stance on arms control talks Friday, saying it could further erode mutual trust and undermine global stability. The United States and Russia have begun talks on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which expires in December 2009, but a cold spell in Russia-US relations has stymied talks. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russian and US negotiators have failed to agree on the basic approach as to which weapons should be counted under the new deal. Russia wants to count missiles, bombers and submarines along with nuclear warheads fitted to them, as was done in the START I treaty, while the United States agrees only to count nuclear warheads, Ryabkov said.