Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing Foley execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One? (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Russia targets McDonald's over tensions with West

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

Europe

US-Russia talks in Rome are 'productive'

Latest update : 2009-04-24

Talks being held in Rome between old Cold War adversaries Russia and the USA got off to "a fast start", according to US negotiator Rose Gottemoeller. Russia has announced it will do its "utmost" to prepare a new draft treaty before the year's end.

REUTERS - U.S. and Russian arms negotiators held a "very productive" initial round of talks on Friday aimed at agreeing a new treaty to curb nuclear weapons as part of a broader effort to improve relations.

Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for verification and compliance, said the meeting in Rome was "very productive" and "got off to a fast start".

Her Russian counterpart Anatoly Antonov, who unexpectedly held a joint news conference with Gottemoeller at the U.S. embassy in Rome, said Moscow would do its "utmost" to prepare a new draft treaty by year-end.

"We are sure, we are sure that this treaty, new treaty, will help to improve relations between (the) United States and (the) Russian Federation," Antonov said, speaking in English.

"We are sure that this treaty could promote confidence, predictability in the world. And I hope that it will be a very impressive impulse to international movement regarding getting rid (of the world's) nuclear weapon(s)."

The Rome talks were called after presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev agreed in London earlier this month to work out a replacement for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), which expires in December.

Both sides see a new arms reduction deal as a way to show that the former Cold War foes can work together despite bitter rows on other issues, such as NATO expansion into regions once dominated by Moscow and tackling Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"These negotiations will be very important in hitting the reset button in the U.S.-Russian relationship, restoring mutual confidence to make progress in a lot of areas," Gottemoeller said.

After Friday's talks, the first full-fledged negotiations would be held in May in the United States, Antonov said.


Rapport but differences

Gottemoeller, former director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, knew Antonov very well before the Rome talks, officials say, and the two demonstrated a certain rapport.

Calling each other by their first names, they fielded questions in both Russian and English, and were positive about the future talks even as they warned that the real negotiating work still lay ahead.

Sticking points include U.S. plans for a missile shield, which Russia opposes, and which Antonov told reporters "is a very important issue" to Moscow. Obama and Medvedev have ordered the negotiators to report back on progress by July. Gottemoeller expressed optimism.

"On the basis of this very productive meeting today, I would say that we will have a good report for them in July," she said.

She told a conference earlier this month it would be hard to meet a deadline of Dec. 5, when the existing START-1 treaty expires.

Antonov said "we are very much satisfied to see Rose as the chief negotiator".

The proposed arms deal would go beyond a 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which committed both sides to cutting arsenals to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by 2012.

SORT will remain in force for a further three years.
 

Date created : 2009-04-24

COMMENT(S)