Obama Seeks Deal With Russia to Slash Nuclear Arms

Talks could reduce stockpiles by 80%
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2009 8:11 PM CST
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is seen in front of an intercontinental ballistic missile before its launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia in October.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – President Obama plans to restart aggressive talks with Russia aimed at reducing both nations' nuclear arsenals by 80% to 1,000 warheads each, the Times of London reports. Obama will set up a special White House office to oversee the talks, aimed at forging a treaty to replace the 1991 START pact. Russia has been more flexible on the subject since Obama announced the US will review plans to put a missile-defense shield in Europe.

“We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding arms reduction process,” said an administration official. “We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over issues of concern to them. Nobody would be surprised if the number reduced to the 1,000 mark for the post-START treaty.”