The US and Russian presidents hope to have a new nuclear weapons reduction deal in place by the end of the year.
The current arms cuts agreement, START-I, expires on December 5. Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev spoke on the fringes of the APEC summit and also evoked the subject of Iran’s alleged nuclear arms program. An internationally approved plan to have Iran’s uranium enriched in Russia and transformed into energy in France has not yet been accepted by Tehran. Obama said: “Unfortunately, so far at least, Iran appears to have been unable to say ‘Yes’ to what everyone acknowledges is a creative and constructive approach. We are now running out of time.” US-Russian relations have improved since Obama’s arrival in the White House and their once different positions on Iran are starting to converge. Russia had been opposed to imposing more sanctions on Iran if it didn’t suspend its uranium enrichment. But Medvedev indicated from Singapore that Russia was prepared to adopt a stricter position if necessary.