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Russia: Removal Of Missile Warheads Suggested

Washington, 6 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says he is not aware of comments by Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov that Russia was prepared to remove warheads from its nuclear missiles.

Primakov said in a speech in Geneva that Russia was ready to do so if NATO members removed warheads from their missiles.

Burns said he did not see reports on Primakov's remarks, but added that if true the proposal would be "highly significant."

He recalled that Russian President Boris Yeltsin last month in Paris during the NATO signing ceremony discussed "de-targeting missiles as opposed to de-coupling." But Burns noted that there have been some different linguistic interpretations of those remarks.

Burns added that there would be discussions with Russia if there was such a proposal.