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Russia: Talbott Returns From Moscow Talks

Washington, 13 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Strobe Talbott has returned to Washington following several days of talks on arms control and other issues in Moscow.

Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters Friday that Talbott was encouraged by the prospects for ratification by the Russian parliament of the nuclear arms reduction pact known as "START Two". The treaty was originally signed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union and seeks to bring the nuclear arsenals of both sides down to less than 2,500 warheads.

Rubin says Talbott also discussed with senior Russian officials the U.S. desire for Russian cooperation in preventing Iran from obtaining long-range missiles. The U.S. considers Iran a terrorist nation.

Rubin says the U.S. takes very seriously reports that Iran is obtaining missile technology from Russia. But he says Russian officials assured Talbott that it is not the policy of the Russian government to assist Iran's missile development.

Rubin says more talks on the issue are scheduled soon when the U.S. special envoy to Russia on the missile matter, Frank Wisner, returns to Moscow. Rubin says no date has been set for those talks.