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Russia: U.S. Official In Moscow Preparing For Summit

Moscow, 24 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Strobe Talbott is in Moscow today for talks in preparation for next month's summit between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Talbott met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii Mamedov to discuss nuclear arms reduction and U.S. plans to build a new national anti-missile defense system. The U.S. wants to build a limited national anti-missile defense shield to protect against a perceived threat posed by countries such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Russia is strictly opposed to the scheme which would breach the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty.

Disagreement over the ABM has complicated talks on a new START-III strategic arms reduction treaty. After years of stalling, last month Russia's parliament ratified the START-II treaty.