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U.S. Says Arms Talks With Russia To Resume Next Week

GENEVA (Reuters) -- Talks on a landmark treaty between the United States and Russia to cut Cold War nuclear arsenals will resume in Geneva next week after a break for the holiday period, the U.S. mission said today.

Experts from the two sides will meet this week to prepare the ground, it said in a statement.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on January 24 a deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which officially expired on December 5, was 95 percent agreed.

"Following up on the meetings held in Moscow January 21-22, we expect work between experts of both sides to continue in Geneva the week of January 25 and that the full negotiating teams will resume work on February 1," the statement said.

The negotiations are taking place in Geneva under a media blackout. Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the talks last month when they met during the Copenhagen climate summit, but failed to clinch a deal.

One area still open is telemetry -- the remote monitoring of a missile in launch and flight, one U.S. official said.

This would be central to any verification regime, ensuring that each side does what is agreed in a treaty.

In July last year, Obama and Medvedev agreed the new treaty should cut the number of nuclear warheads on each side to between 1,500 and 1,675, and the number of delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,100.