The United States and Russia plan to have a new disarmament agreement by the end of the year, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said.
Clinton said the two countries had "agreed on a work plan" after she met Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, for a two-hour working dinner on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We intend to have an agreement by the end of the year. This is of the highest priority to our governments," she said.
Speaking at a news conference with Clinton, Lavrov said the current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expires on December 31, had become obsolete.
The treaty, which was signed in 1991, committed both parties to limit arms stockpiles, including a maximum of 1,600 missiles and 6,000 warheads.
Friday's meeting, meanwhile, marked the highest-profile talks between the two nations since Barack Obama, the US president, took office in January.
The Geneva dinner was intended to set the stage for next month's meeting between Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.
This is good news....
Last month, the United States reduced its deployed strategic warheads to the maximum number allowed under 2002 Moscow Treaty, three and a half years early. The reduction was initially planned to be met in 2012.
The "Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions" (SORT), better known as the Moscow Treaty is different from START in that it limits actual warheads, whereas START I limits warheads only through declared attribution to their means of delivery (ICBMs, SLBMs, and Heavy Bombers).
START II followed START I and, although ratified, the treaty has never entered into force; in other words never been activated. On June 14, 2002, one day after the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Russia withdrew from START II.
I think it was be cool if the next treaty was known as SMURF.
"Strategic Missie Uber-Reduction Friendship"??