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Arms control to top talks with Clinton: Russia

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 08:40 IST

Russia's foreign minister has said he will focus on arms control talks during his meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week, while Moscow has demonstrated its revived military might by sending a bomber on patrol near Canada and putting a new military radar on duty.

Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that arms control talks will top the agenda for his meeting with Clinton in Geneva next week. He added that Russia expects the US to form a team of arms-control negotiators quickly.

Russia has welcomed the new US administration's intention to start talks soon on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START I, which expires in December. The treaty, signed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President George HW Bush, contains a comprehensive control and verification mechanism hailed by both Moscow and Washington.

Last week, Lavrov put out a series of demands to Washington in the arms control sphere, signaling that the negotiations will be difficult.

The Kremlin has taken a tough tone with Washington ever since Barack Obama's election.