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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Russia claims no US nuclear deal in Copenhagen

This deal with Russia was one of the more positive aspects of Obama's foreign policy but even it seems to somewhat bogged down. However, it would seem that the issues are primarily technical so presumably they will be worked out eventually in the new year. THis is from presstv.



Russia rules out nuclear deal with US in Copenhagen

The START deal, which led to deep cuts in nuclear arsenals on both the US and Russia, expired on December 5, 2008.
Russia and the US will not manage to sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty by the end of the year, an informed source in Moscow says.

The report comes as Russia has clarified that any agreement on the issue will not be signed between the two countries' leaders on the sidelines of a UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

"The number of details that need to be agreed is such that it's physically impossible to do it all in the time left until the end of the year," Interfax quoted the Russian source as saying, AFP reported.

"Such delays shouldn't be dramatized, since Moscow and Washington are both equally keen on constructive [dialogue] and on coming up with a document that suits both sides," the source added.

The US President, Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed in April to sign a new nuclear deal in order to expand the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) signed by former US president George H.W. Bush and then Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev.

The treaty, which led to deep cuts in nuclear arsenals on both sides, expired on December 5, 2008.

Later in July 2009, the two leaders agreed to decrease the number of their nuclear warheads between 1,500 and 1,675 within seven years.

The documents "may be ready for signing in January next year," the source noted.

The report comes a day after a US official told reporters on condition of anonymity that Washington would not have a replacement treaty on nuclear-arms cuts in place by the end of the year.

US officials, he said, "expect that the START talks are powering right through the weekend, they're going to go right up to Christmas [then] breaking for the holidays and coming back in January.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the US of slowing down the nuclear talks, saying the agreement would not be signed on the sidelines of the Copenhagen summit.

"It's highly unlikely to happen in Copenhagen," Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow. "We still have a big workload — of a purely technical character — facing us."

"In the past couple of days we have noted a slowdown in the positions of the US negotiators in Geneva. They explain this by the need to receive additional instructions. But our team is ready for work," he added.

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