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Russia waits for U.S. proposals on stored nuclear warheads - Lavrov


MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow is awaiting Washington's proposals on control over the number of nuclear warheads stored by both countries, Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

According to some sources, the U.S. is not planning to include control over currently stored nuclear warheads in the provisions of a new strategic arms reductions treaty aimed to replace the START-1 treaty due to expire in December this year.

"As to stored nuclear warheads, it is important to understand how they will be counted [toward the new limit]. We are waiting for U.S. proposals in order to analyze them in line with the principle of equally-assured security," Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We are not saying 'no' to the current U.S. standpoint. We want to wait and see how the U.S. formulates it in legal terms. We are convinced that the new treaty must cover all [nuclear] warheads and all delivery vehicles," the minister added.

The first round of "full-format" talks on the new treaty is due to take place in Moscow on May 18, with the aim of drawing up a draft deal before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama meet in July.

Russia and the United States have a good chance of reaching an agreement on the treaty by the end of the year, Lavrov said.

""The informal rounds of talks ... have helped both countries understand that they have a good chance of overcoming differences and agreeing terms on controls over strategic offensive weapons and global nonproliferation," he said.

Lavrov recently visited the U.S. to prepare for the Obama-Medvedev summit and met with Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials.

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