Obama for nuclear disarmament talks with Russia: report

February 4th, 2009 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaLondon, Feb 4 (IANS) US President Barack Obama is to convene ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia that could see both countries slash 80 percent of their nuclear weapons, a newspaper reported Wednesday.The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times newspaper reported.

The talks, to be driven by the State Department, will be overseen by a non-proliferation office to be established at the White House, which is expected to be headed by Clinton negotiator Gary Seamore.

The paper indicated the talks were being made possible by a delay in US plans to place missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, which have been strongly opposed by Moscow.

“Any agreement would put pressure on Britain, which has 160 nuclear warheads, and other nuclear powers to reduce their stockpiles,” the Times said.

“We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding arms reduction process,” an unidentified Administration official told the paper.

“We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over issues of concern to them. Nobody would be surprised if the number reduced to the 1,000 mark for the post-Start (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty.”

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