18 Jun 2009

Russia sees progress on reducing nuclear arsenals

9:21 pm on 18 June 2009

Russia said on Thursday that talks with the United States on reducing vast arsenals of Cold War nuclear weapons were proceeding constructively ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama to Moscow in July.

Finding a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) before it expires on 5 December would mark a thaw in relations between the world's biggest two nuclear powers.

The two sides are seeking to narrow differences before Mr Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev meet in Moscow July 6-8.

"The negotiations are taking place in a constructive and business-like manner," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters at a weekly briefing.

"We count on the presidents being able to make an announcement on interim results at the July summit."

The next round of US-Russia negotiations on START are due to take place June 23-24 in Geneva. Two rounds have already taken place.