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Russia-US, START-1 treaty replacement in progress: Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shaking hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at a meeting in London, UK. A File photo.

MOSCOW (PTI): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the talks with US on a new arms cut pact to replace Soviet-era START-1 agreement are difficult but the two countries have made progress on many points.

During his meeting with the leaders of the parliamentary parties at his hunting retreat 120 km from here, Medvedev said talks are difficult, but many points have been agreed on.

"Negotiations will continue. They are tough, but in general we have agreed on many points with the Americans," Medvedev said in his televised remarks at the meeting on Sunday.

Earlier, US President Barack Obama and Medvedev had vowed to clinch new arms cut pact by the December 5, 2009 deadline, however, due to Washington's demand to monitor the Russian mobile Topol-M nuclear missiles, the negotiations were stalled and a new fillip was given at their December meeting in Copenhagen on the sidelines of the Climate Summit.

"We have taken a large step forward, and we have reached agreement to a significant degree in our positions," Medvedev said.

In July, Obama and Medvedev at their Moscow summit agreed to slash nuclear arsenals to 1,500-1,675 operational warheads and missiles to the level of 500-1,000.

Medvedev said while signing the new treaty he will take the political parties represented in the parliament into confidence as it was to ratify the pact.

"This is a foreign policy issue, but it is of extreme importance and will, in the final analysis, determine the face of Russia for years to come," he said calling for the simultaneous ratification of the new arms cut treaty by the Russian parliament and US Congress.

"I think this is something our American partners should know about, either we simultaneously ratify the document or this process may not take place at all," he said.

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Brahmand World Defence Update 2023

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