Russia, U.S. “close to nuclear deal”

1991 treaty expired last month; new pact in the works

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that he is optimistic the U.S. and Russia will reach a new pact to reduce their Cold War nuclear weapon arsenals. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) signed in 1991 expired last month, but both nations have pledged to honour its main provisions until a new deal can be hammered out. The original treaty led to deep cuts in the Russian and American nuclear arsenals, and a new one is said to aim at reducing the number of deployed warheads below the current 1,700 – 2,200 allowed under START. Despite the progress, Moscow is still concerned with U.S. plans to develop and deploy a missile defence system in Europe, a plan pushed by former President George W. Bush.

Al Jazeera English