“The United States and Russia said they were closing in on a successor arms reduction treaty that would further slash their nuclear arsenals and put their relations on a more solid footing. ‘We’re getting closer,’ White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters here, asked about the prospect for an agreement to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). ‘We’re optimistic that we can get one.’ Earlier in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov assured ‘the agreement will be signed soon.’ The former Cold War foes sounded confident notes just days after the START treaty expired with no agreement on a replacement despite intense negotiations to hammer out an accord under guidelines US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev set in July. The presidents set as a goal slashing the number of warheads on either side to between 1,500 and 1,675 and the number of ‘carriers’ capable of delivering them to between 500 and 1,100.”
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