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US-Russia Reach Nuclear Arms Deal

May 13, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States and Russia have reached a long-sought agreement to slash their nuclear arsenals, President Bush announced Monday.

Bush said he would sign the agreement May 24 in Russia when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

``The treaty will liquidate the legacy of the Cold War,″ Bush said in a surprise announcement on the White House lawn as he departed on a trip to Chicago. He said that with the treaty signing, ``We will begin the new era of U.S.-Russian relations and that’s important.″

Undersecretary of State John Bolton and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov worked in Moscow in recent days on the agreement.

The arms control agreement, as envisioned, would require each country to cut its nuclear arsenal to 1,700 to 2,200 warheads from the 6,000 now allowed by the START I treaty.

Bush and Putin agreed to those levels last fall and negotiators have been trying to work out a formal document codifying them in time for the May 23-26 summit.

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