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President Barak Obama visits for arms talks

July 6, 2009 - MOSCOW

United States President Barack Obama visits Russia on Jul 6-8 for talks aimed at cuttings stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The two leaders want a deal that would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which expires in December. The remaining differences between the two sides are described as narrow. One of the sticking points is the US plan, made by the last US administration, to deploy an anti-missile shield in Europe.

United States President Barack Obama visits Russia on Jul 6-8 for talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at cuttings stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The two leaders want a deal that would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which expires in December. The remaining differences between the two sides are described as narrow. One of the sticking points is the US plan, made by the last US administration, to deploy an anti-missile shield in Europe. Medvedev and Obama have said the new arms deal should cut stockpiles below those in the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), under which both sides are to cut their arsenals to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012. The main sticking points, apart from the anti-missile shield, are limits on the number of warheads and whether the treaty will cover bombers and missiles. A joint analysis by top US and Russian scientists, reported on 19 May by the Washington Post, has concluded the anti-missile shield, as proposed, would be ineffective. The report and the cash-strapped situation of the United States could point the Obama administration towards delaying the anti-missile shield by way of a compromise. May/09

Russia, U.S. hold talks on cutting nuclear weapons (Reuters 19 May 2009)

Who are the world's nuclear powers? (Reuters 18 May 2009)

Study: Europe missile shield wouldn't work (UPI 19 May 2009)

Date written/update: 2009-07-06