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U.S./Russia: Bush, Putin Sign Weapons Accord

Moscow, 24 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin today signed a nuclear arms-reduction treaty that commits the United States and Russia to substantial cuts in their stockpiles of nuclear warheads. Bush said at a signing ceremony in the Kremlin that the treaty "liquidates the Cold War legacy of nuclear hostility" between Washington and Moscow.

"This is an historic and hopeful day for Russia and America. Its an historic day for the world as well. President Putin and I today ended a long chapter of confrontation and opened up an entirely new relationship between our countries," Bush said.

Putin called the treaty a milestone in the development of relations between Russia and the United States.

"In its spirit, the treaty is a confirmation of our countries' choice to reduce nuclear arsenals and work together in nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is a decision of two counties that understand their responsibility for international security and strategic stability," Putin said.

Bush and Putin also signed a declaration calling for broader cooperation between the U.S. and Russia as part of a new strategic relationship.