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Russia: Moscow Expects Treaty On Nuclear Cuts

Moscow, 12 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Colonel General Yurii Baluevskii says Russia expects a legally binding, formal accord with the United States about deeper nuclear weapons cuts. Baluevskii said today the agreement should be reached by May or June. He is leading a delegation headed to Washington next week to work out the details of the cuts.

The talks are likely to focus on the scale of reductions, the kind of weapons under scrutiny, and ways to regulate the entire process.

The U.S. government said on 10 January that recent nuclear weapons reduction programs have transferred some inactivated warheads to storage rather than destroying them.

Yesterday, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the U.S. government to follow precise guidelines in decommissioning and destroying its nuclear weapons. Gorbachev urged the U.S. to destroy the weapons taken off duty.

U.S. President George W. Bush has so far opposed a formal treaty on the reductions.