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U.S., Russia May Sign New Treaty

Russia and the United States may sign an agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty during the Copenhagen climate summit, a Russian source familiar with the summit plans said Tuesday.

The presidents of the United States and Russia will go to the Danish capital later this week to attend the climate conference, and agreement on cutting their arsenals of nuclear arms would signal that previously tense relations are easing.

President Dmitry Medvedev will be joined by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as part of the presidential delegation, the source said.

The source said Lavrov would not be going to Copenhagen unless Russia believed that the new treaty could be signed with President Barack Obama there.

Lavrov said Dec. 9 that “the treaty will be signed soon” but declined to elaborate.

The White House declined to comment Tuesday.

Washington and Moscow failed to reach agreement on a successor to the 1991 START-1, the biggest agreed nuclear weapons cut in history, before Dec. 5 when the pact had been due to expire. However, both sides agreed it should remain in force.

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