Languages
Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

US and Russia pledge nuclear missile treaty soon

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama in Moscow
Russia and the US reached an outline arms agreement in July

The US and Russia say they want a new nuclear arms treaty to enter force as soon as possible, after failing to agree a successor to the Start I pact.

The nations uphold the "spirit" of the 1991 Cold War-era treaty despite its end, the US and Russian presidents said in a joint statement.

Talks on a new accord are expected to continue after the treaty expires. at midnight on Friday.

Russia's foreign ministry said "intense efforts" were ongoing on a new treaty.

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, agreed in July that a new treaty should bring deep cuts in nuclear warheads.

It is confusing that Start and Sort run concurrently
Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent

Washington has indicated it would like an interim agreement to come into force until a new treaty is negotiated.

The Start I agreement was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush senior in the final days of the Soviet Union. It led to deep cuts in nuclear arsenals on both sides.

The BBC's Tom Esslemont, in Moscow, says that in spite of frenetic diplomatic activity and the "reset" of relations between the two sides it was always going to be difficult for a replacement arms control treaty to come into force before Friday's deadline.

Kremlin sources appear optimistic that something can be agreed while President Obama is in Europe next week to receive his Nobel Peace Prize.

But the details of the new, complex agreement have not been finalised. It will also need to be ratified in both parliaments, and that could take months, our correspondent says.

Under the joint understanding signed in July, deployed nuclear warheads will be cut to below 1,700 on each side within seven years of a new treaty - a huge cut on Soviet-era levels.

In a joint statement, the US and Russian presidents said on Friday: "We express our commitment, as a matter of principle, to continue to work together in the spirit of the Start treaty following its expiration, as well as our firm intention to ensure that a new treaty on strategic arms enter into force at the earliest possible date."

Graph showing US and Russian nuclear weapon stockpiles



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Poland signs up to new US shield
21 Oct 09 |  Europe
Russia hails US missile overhaul
18 Sep 09 |  Americas
US-Russian deal 'linked to Iran'
09 Jul 09 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Radio Free Europe U.S. And Russian START Talks Continue As Deadline Looms - 21 hrs ago
CBS News Kremlin, U.S. Seek to Extend Nuclear Pact - 23 hrs ago
Reuters via Yahoo! Russia-U.S. arms pact extended as deadline passes - 24 hrs ago
MSNBC Russia says U.S. arms deal is near - 25 hrs ago



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific