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The presidents of the United States and Russia came out of their first face-to-face meeting at the London G20 summit with a major agreement, instructing negotiators to get to work immediately on a treaty that would continue to reduce nuclear weapons.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START-1, expires at the end of the year, and many in the arms control community have expressed concerns that there are few signs of the diplomatic machinery that will be required to renew or extend its safeguards.
A senior administration official reminded the press on Wednesday, shortly after the announcement by the two presidents, that six months ago relations between the two countries were “at a lowest point since Cold War times.”
“This document shows that we’re in a different place,” the official said in a transcript of a background session immediately after the meeting. “And there are lots of areas of agreement, and I would say, importantly lots of agreement about definitions of common threats and common interests.”
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