US-Russia agreement on offensive arms a breakthrough: Putin

By RIA Novosti

Guatemala : Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the US-Russia agreements on reducing strategic offensive arms to a minimum as a breakthrough.

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"The Russian foreign minister and the US Secretary of State continued discussions in Washington, and documents fixing our agreements on strategic offensive arms should be published later," Putin said.

"This is a breakthrough in terms of creating a safe and transparent world. I am satisfied with the tone of the discussions and the results we have achieved."

Putin said the parties had also reached agreements on the Iranian and Kosovo problems and missile defence.

In a statement published Tuesday, Sergei Lavrov and Condoleezza Rice confirmed their countries' intention to reduce their strategic offensive arms to a minimal level and to develop relevant agreements.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed July 31, 1991, five months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it expires Dec 5, 2009. It is now a treaty between the US and Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have since totally disarmed their strategic arms capabilities, and the US and Russia reduced the number of delivery vehicles to 1,600 units, with no more than 6,000 warheads.