US, Russia discuss nuclear weapons cuts

2009-05-20 14:06 BJT


The US and Russia are discussing how to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons at meetings in Moscow.

Hopes are high that there will be more than just a "reset" of relations between the former Cold War foes.

Much is expected to happen behind these walls, as senior Russian and US officials begin talks on a deal to cut nuclear weapons.

The agreement would be a successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December.

As they arrived, negotiators had little to say.

But diplomats say the mood is positive.

Local media quoted an unidentified Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying the talks will yield practical results.

" ...the optimism that is being expressed by both sides will feed through into practical results..."

So, what can be expected?

With over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, the US and Russia say the new deal should cut stockpiles below those in a 2002 Offensive Reduction Treaty. Under that agreement, both sides are to cut their arsenals to between 17-hundred and 22-hundred warheads by 2012.

And Washington is expecting the weapons-cuts deal will expand from just a US-Russia pact to an updated Non-proliferation Treaty.

Barack Obama, US President, said, "We can move forward on a comprehensive test ban treaty."

Obama's administration was credited this month with the agreement of 189 countries on an overhaul of the treaty.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: