The United States and Russia have pushed for peaceful nuclear energy use and said they had begun talks to trim their nuclear arsenals "to the lowest possible level" ahead of the expiry of a landmark strategic weapons agreement.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which led to the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons under the largest arms control accord in history, expires in 2009.
"The United States and Russia reiterate their intention to carry out strategic offensive reductions to the lowest possible level consistent with their national security requirements and alliance commitments," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said in a joint statement issued in Washington on Tuesday.
"To this end, ministers discussed development of a post-START arrangement to provide continuity and predictability regarding strategic offensive forces," they said, a day after US President George W Bush and Russian leader Vladimir Putin held summit talks.
Rice and Lavrov had met on the sidelines of the summit at the US leader's parents' vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.