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Medvedev urges US to proceed on strategic arms cut

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MOSCOW (BNS): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday urged the United States to take steps towards reduction of strategic arms while saying that the two countries have a good chance of agreeing on a new treaty in this regard.

While dealing with non-proliferation, we must simultaneously deal with the limitation and reduction of strategic offensive potentials both carriers and nuclear warheads, Medvedev told Russia's Channel One in an interview with to be broadcast on Sunday.

Today we have the chance to advance this process. We will be dealing with this. And I call on our American partners to do the same, he said.

The president expressed hope that Russia and the US had a good chance of agreeing on a new strategic arms reduction treaty.

There is definitely a chance for the agreement, since the new US administration has demonstrated interest in this issue. This was not so with the previous administration, as it did not consider this issue a priority in its foreign policy, Medvedev said.

The two Presidents had in July agreed on the outline of a new deal that would replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), expiring on December 5. The two sides had also decided to curtail their nuclear arsenal.

We have set our negotiators the task to come to an agreement in time... But both sides have to demonstrate wisdom and the desire to listen to each other, as well as an understanding of modern realities, the Russian President said.

The START-1 treaty envisages Russia and the US to reduce their nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600 each.

In 2002, a follow-up agreement on strategic offensive arms reduction was concluded in Moscow. The document, known as Moscow Treaty, envisioned cuts to 1,700-2,200 warheads by December 2012.

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