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New Russia - US arms pact almost ready: Medvedev

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MOSCOW (PTI): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the new nuclear arms control pact with US is almost ready and 95 percent issues have been resolved.

"Ninety-five percent of issues have been coordinated. I have rather optimistic expectations regarding the treaty," Medvedev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti on Sunday.

Due to differences over verification procedures Moscow and Washington failed to meet December 5, 2009 deadline to put in place a new nuclear arms control pact to replace the Soviet era START-1 treaty, which expired on that day.

"As regards the document, President Obama and I clearly outlined the limits - what we may not do and what they may not do. Everything is clear here," he said.

The new treaty, as agreed by the two presidents at their Moscow summit in July last, includes cutting nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and delivery vehicles to 500-1,000.

Russia and US agreed to resume their negotiations in early February after Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov and US Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at their meeting in Brussels on Friday last thrashed out some of the major differences.

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