Hillary Clinton, declaring a fresh start for relations with Russia, has predicted that the two nations would complete a new arms reduction treaty by year-end and find common ground on other major issues as well, the AP reports. Upbeat and often smiling, both Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks today that they had reached no new formal agreements—but would develop a plan to reduce their arsenals.
The aim is to have plans for proceeding on arms talks ready by the time President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet at an economic summit in England in early April, sources said. Asked by reporters during a joint news conference if it was realistic to expect a new pact in time to replace the START I treaty by the time it expires in December, Clinton was emphatic. "This is of the highest priority," she said.