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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will sign a memorandum of understanding on strategic arms reduction during their upcoming summit in Moscow..
“It will be a framework document, which will outline benchmarks for further work on an agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I),” Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev’s foreign policy aide was quoted as saying by Interfax.
The document to be signed next week will be a politically binding agreement, not a legally binding one, Prikhodko said.
He expressed the hope that a replacement for the START I, which is due to expire in December, would be signed by the end of this year or early 2010.
Prikhodko, however, reiterated Russia’s stance that it would link a new strategic arms cut treaty with the U.S. missile defense plan.
Russia’s firm position on “unbreakable ties between strategic offensive and defensive weapons remains in effect and should be reflected in the new treaty,” he was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.
Prikhodko said the heads of state would also sign an agreement on the transit of military and other cargos to Afghanistan, a joint statement on Afghanistan and a joint declaration on nuclear cooperation.
They will also sign a framework document on cooperation between the two armed forces, resuming “full-scale military contacts” following a freeze of military cooperation since last August’s war in Georgia, Prikhodko said.
Obama is scheduled to visit Moscow from July 6-8. It will be the president’s first visit to Russia since he took office in January.