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U.S. Clinton cancels visit to Russia due to arm injury

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An arm injury has forced U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to cancel her visit to Moscow, where she was due to accompany President Barack Obama next week, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said on Thursday.

MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - An arm injury has forced U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to cancel her visit to Moscow, where she was due to accompany President Barack Obama next week, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said on Thursday.

Clinton fell in the State Department building on June 17 breaking a bone in her elbow. The injury has forced her to postpone a number of high-ranking meetings.

The ministry source also said that U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, who was also the country's ambassador to Russia between 2005 and 2008, will accompany Obama during his visit to Russia.

The talks between Medvedev and Obama are expected to focus on strategic arms reduction. The leaders agreed to launch discussions on a new deal to replace the START 1 treaty during their first meeting in London in early April.

The START 1, which expires on December 5, obliges Russia and the United States to reduce nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600 each. In 2002, a follow-up agreement on strategic offensive arms reduction was concluded in Moscow. The agreement, known as the Moscow Treaty, envisioned cuts to 1,700-2,200 warheads by December 2012.

Russia, which proposed a new arms reduction agreement in 2005, expects Washington to agree on a deal that would restrict not only the numbers of nuclear warheads, but also place limits on all existing kinds of delivery vehicles.

Medvedev has also said that any strategic arms cuts would only be possible if the United States alleviated Russia's concerns over Washington's plans for a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland.

 

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