Obama Seeks Deal With Russia to Slash Nuclear Arms

Talks could reduce stockpiles by 80%
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2009 8:11 PM CST
Obama Seeks Deal With Russia to Slash Nuclear Arms
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is seen in front of an intercontinental ballistic missile before its launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia in October.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)

President Obama plans to restart aggressive talks with Russia aimed at reducing both nations' nuclear arsenals by 80% to 1,000 warheads each, the Times of London reports. Obama will set up a special White House office to oversee the talks, aimed at forging a treaty to replace the 1991 START pact. Russia has been more flexible on the subject since Obama announced the US will review plans to put a missile-defense shield in Europe.

“We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding arms reduction process,” said an administration official. “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 treaty.” (Read more President Obama stories.)

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