Russia and the United States have made major 'progress' on a new deal to slash the nuclear arsenals during the cold war, replacing Soviet-era START-1 treaty that ended December last, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
"The results of the latest rounds suggest that the parties will come to a completion of the talks shortly", Clinton said at a joint press conference after meeting her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
Negotiators from Russia and the US have been holding talks in Geneva on the new arms control pact that will replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), but have failed to reach agreement so far. Both Clinton and Lavrov were briefed by their negotiators on the state of Geneva talks as they met to take their bilateral relationship in a positive direction.
In a recent telephonic conversation, US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had expressed hope that the new treaty could be shortly finalised. Clinton arrived in Moscow on a two-day visit to iron out the remaining issues so that the new arms control pact could be signed before the global nuclear summit in Washington next month. On Friday, she is to call on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin,who had earlier publicly expressed his views on linking the new pact with the US plans for deployment of missile shields.