Obama sending top officials to Moscow to finalise START

Updated on Jan 21, 2010 07:10 AM IST

US President, Barack Obama, is sending his top aides to Russia to conclude the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

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PTI | By, Washington

US President, Barack Obama, is sending his top aides to Russia to conclude the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

"National Security Advisor General (rtd) Jim Jones and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral (Mike) Mullen are going to Moscow primarily to discuss the remaining issues left to conclude a new Start treaty," White House spokesman, Mike Hammer, said.

"They will also meet with their Russians counterparts to discuss a range of other security issues," he added.

The previous START treaty expired in December 2009. The two countries have been negotiating on the new Start Treaty for the past several months.

Last July Obama, and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed to work on a new agreement to reduce the arsenals of both countries between 1,500 to 1,675 warheads each.

"We hope to restart the negotiations here after a holiday break, you know, the next few days. We have made progress even through the break for the holidays," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, said.

"It is in the interest of Russia and the US and the world to see the completion and ratification of a follow-on START agreement," Crowley said.

"I don't think that we have lots of issues in our relationship. I think both countries have pledged their leaders to complete this agreement. We believe it's still being conducted in good faith, and I would not think that complication will come into it," Crowley said.

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