The United States and Russia have signed an agreement committing the
two countries to sharply reduce the number of their nuclear weapons and
U.S. President Barack Obama says he and his Russian counterpart Dmitri
Medvedev had reset U.S.-Russian relations on the first day of their
The two leaders signed a statement instructing negotiators to finalize
a replacement for the Strategic Arms limitation treaty that expires in
December. The agreement provides for a reduction of warheads from 2200
to a range of 1500 to 1675 and of launch vehicles from 1600 to a range
of 500 to 1100.
Mr. Medvedev said the meeting covered all items on the agenda including
a backlog of problems and called the discussions useful, open and
Mr. Obama stressed the importance of reducing strategic arms, saying
the United States and Russia, as the world's two main nuclear powers,
must lead by example.
The two men also announced a review of possible cooperation on missile defense.
Though they announced no breakthrough in the controversial U.S. plans
for deploying a missile defense system in Central Europe, they agreed
to instruct experts to analyze ballistic missile threats and prepare
Russia says U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Poland and the
Czech Republic would threaten Russian security and start a new European
arms race. The United States says the missile shield is aimed at
countering a possible attack from Iran or North Korea and in no way
The two leaders issued a statement Monday reaffirming the commitment of
both countries to fight terrorism, armed extremism and illegal drug
trafficking in Afghanistan. Representatives of the two countries also
signed an agreement authorizing transit across Russia of U.S. military
cargoes to Afghanistan.
Mr. Obama will meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his home outside Moscow Tuesday.