The Russian and U.S. presidents discussed on Saturday the negotiations on a new strategic arms reductions treaty and said it was possible to talk about a date for the deal to be signed, the Kremlin said.
"The heads of state have, by an already established tradition, held a regular exchange of views on the situation in the final stages of preparation of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Both sides expressed satisfaction with the high level of agreement in the major provisions of the draft treaty. It was underlined that it is now possible to talk about specific dates for the submission of the draft START treaty for signing by the heads of state," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
It added that presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama agreed during their telephone conversation to give additional instructions to the negotiating teams and discussed plans for bilateral contacts in the near future.
Russia and the United States have been negotiating a replacement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty since Medvedev and Obama met in April last year, but finalizing a document has dragged on, with U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe a particular sticking point. START 1, the cornerstone of post-Cold War arms control, expired on December 5.
MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti)