Russian, U.S. Diplomats to Talk Threat Reduction

Senior Russian and U.S. diplomats are expected this month to discuss Moscow's looming withdrawal from the Nunn-Lugar threat reduction program, Interfax reported on Thursday.

The mid-February meeting in Moscow is to involve Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and acting U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller.

"The sides will discuss issues surrounding arms control, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the future of the Nunn-Lugar program," an international relations official in Moscow said to the news agency.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction program was established more than two decades ago to secure and eliminate weapons of mass destruction and related materials in former Soviet states. It has assisted in the deactivation of more than 7,000 nuclear warheads as well as destruction of large numbers of ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, bombers and other strategic assets.

A bilateral agreement that enables CTR operations in Russia is due to expire in June. Moscow has indicated it does not intend to extend the deal.

The State Department and the Russian Embassy in Washington did not respond on Friday to requests from Global Security Newswire for further details on the upcoming talks.

February 1, 2013
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Senior Russian and U.S. diplomats are expected this month to discuss Moscow's looming withdrawal from the Nunn-Lugar threat reduction program, Interfax reported on Thursday.

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