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Clinton to focus on Iran, arms reduction during Russia visit

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear programme and the replacement of the current arms reduction treaty between Washington and Moscow during her official visit here, a report said Tuesday.

Clinton, who arrived late Monday for a two-day official visit to Russia, is scheduled to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials, the report added.

Prior to her visit, the Western media speculated that Clinton would seek Russia’s support towards an international effort to force Iran to curb its uranium enrichment programme.

Tehran is under three UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment programme that it can use both for civilian and military purposes. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only.

Clinton and Lavrov are also expected to discuss a new treaty on strategic offensive armaments, to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1) between Russia and the US expiring Dec 5.

The START-1 treaty obliges these two countries to reduce their nuclear warheads to 6,000 and their delivery vehicles to 1,600 each.