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Clinton To Meet Putin On Nuclear Arms Treaty

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton in Moscow.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wraps up a visit to Moscow today with talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Discussions are expected to focus on a new nuclear arms pact, which Clinton said both sides expected to sign soon.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also in Moscow, urged Russia and the United States to sign the new arms control pact "as soon as possible."

Clinton and Ban will also attend a meeting of the Middle East peacemaking quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations, and the United States.

On March 18, Clinton held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Both Clinton and Lavrov praised the more positive climate in bilateral relations but had only one formal announcement to make -- that Washington would share financial intelligence with Moscow on the flow of drugs into Russia.

The two sides also were at odds over a nuclear power plant in Iran.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced Moscow will start up the nuclear reactor it is building at Iran's Bushehr plant in the summer.

Reacting to the news, Clinton said it would be "premature."

Lavrov defended his country's nuclear cooperation with Iran, saying it is monitored by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

Washington is pushing for a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran for failing to halt enriching uranium.

compiled from agency reports