Officials: New round of US-Russia START talks this month
Jul 16, 2009, 13:26 GMT
Geneva - The United States and Russia will engage in a new round of talks this month on replacing START, the nuclear arms reduction treaty that is set to expire at the end of the year, officials said Thursday.
This would be the first round since US President Barack Obama met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow earlier this month and reached a basic agreement that there must be a follow-up treaty.
Diplomats in Geneva, where the talks are taking place, told the German Press Agency dpa that on July 22, and running for three days, Russian and US officials will meet to negotiate a successor to the cold war-era Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The first meeting on a deal was held in Moscow two months ago, followed by two rounds in Geneva, all leading up to the summit of the two presidents.
Obama and Medvedev reached a 'joint understanding' which aims to reduce the number of nuclear warheads held by each to between 1,500 and 1,675, compared with the maximum of 2,200 under START.
They would also aim to reduce the number of missiles capable of delivering the warheads from the current maximum of 1,600 allowed for each side to between 500 and 1,100.
Experts from defence, space and atomic divisions of the foreign and defence ministries of the two nuclear powers are expected to attend the Geneva talks.