Clinton, Lavrov see progress on disarmament talksMay 8th, 2009 - 3:38 am ICT by IANS
Washington, May 8 (DPA) The US and Russia are making progress towards a new nuclear disarmament treaty, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday as the one-time Cold War foes continue an effort to improve relations that have become strained over the last few years.
Lavrov and Clinton said a new arms control treaty was the top priority for the two countries and insisted the talks would not be derailed by disagreements over other international issues, including the situation in Georgia and Iran’s own nuclear programme.
“Our leadership in the area of arms control and non-proliferation is of such profound global concern that that is at the top of the list,” Clinton said after a meeting with Lavrov at the State Department in Washington.
Lavrov, who will also meet with President Barack Obama later Thursday, said an agreement to cut the countries’ massive weapons arsenals “is too important … to make it hostage of any particular regime anywhere around the globe.”
Ties between Russia and the United States last year reached one of their lowest points since the Cold War amid disputes over US plans for a missile defence system in Eastern Europe and Russia’s war against Georgia last summer.
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in an effort to kick-start relations during a London summit April 1, agreed to draw up a deal to replace their strategic weapons reduction programme (START), which expires at the end of 2009. The two leaders will meet again in Moscow in July.
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