Obama, Medvedev to Open New Arms Talks

Obama will meet with Medvedev, announce plan to cut arsenals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 9:31 PM CDT
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – President Obama will begin a busy week in Europe tomorrow by announcing that the US and Russia will begin talks to reduce their nuclear arsenals by about a third to 1,500 warheads apiece, the New York Times reports. Obama will meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev on the sidelines of the G20 summit, and the two will announce plans for a new nuclear arms pact to replace START, which expires in December.

Analysts see the arms negotiations as a relatively easy way for the nations to begin repairing strained relations. The two leaders are expected to at least broach more difficult topics such as Iran and Afghanistan, the Times notes. The development comes just after Medvedev wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post in which he said that he already was seeing better relations under the Obama administration.