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    Russia against unilateral steps in cutting armaments - Lavrov

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    It is impossible for Russia or the United States to take unilateral steps in the area of nuclear disarmament, as it should also be in missile defense, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - It is impossible for Russia or the United States to take unilateral steps in the area of nuclear disarmament, as it should also be in missile defense, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.

    "Unilateral steps are not expected from either the Russian Federation or the United States. And I hope that such a rejection of unilateralism will also be expanded to cover the sphere of strategic defensive systems, by which I mean missile defense," Sergei Lavrov told journalists after talks with his German counterpart.

    Russia opposes U.S. plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security. Washington says the shield elements are needed to counter possible strikes from rogue states such as Iran.

    Russian and U.S. negotiators have held two rounds of full-format talks on a replacement for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1), which expires on December 5, and agreed to report the first results of the work on a new treaty at a Russian-U.S. summit in Moscow.

    START 1, signed in 1991, commits Russia and the United States to each reduce nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600. 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.

     

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