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    Medvedev, Obama aim to agree arms cuts by December

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    The Russian and U.S. presidents reaffirmed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday their commitment to drawing up a new strategic arms reduction pact by December, the Kremlin said.

    MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and U.S. presidents reaffirmed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday their commitment to drawing up a new strategic arms reduction pact by December, the Kremlin said.

    Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama "agreed to give additional instructions to experts on intensifying work, to reach a constructive decision by December" on replacing the START 1 treaty on strategic weapons reduction, the Kremlin press service said.

    They also agreed to "continue a trusting and honest exchange of opinions and assessments on all problems of interest to both sides," the statement said.

    Russian and U.S. military experts met on July 22-24 in Geneva for the latest round of talks on a new treaty to replace START 1, which expires at the end of December. The sides agreed to hold the next round of negotiations in early September.

    The issue was a key focus of Obama's meetings with Russian leaders during his visit to Moscow last month.

    Medvedev and Obama signed an agreement on July 6 outlining the provisions of a final treaty, including cutting their countries' nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

    Moscow has linked progress in the talks to concessions on Washington's plans to deploy missile defense facilities in Europe.

     

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