Russia says it is close to reaching a deal with the United States to reduce their nuclear weapons. Diplomats have been trying to prepare a new agreement on cutting atomic stockpiles before the 1991 landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) expires on Saturday.Last week, sources from both sides cast doubt over whether a deal would be ready by the deadline but expressed hope that an accord would be signed by the end of the year. The US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev agreed in July to cut the number of deployed nuclear weapons by around a third from current levels. They will still keep more than 1,500 – more than enough to destroy the world several times over – but the Kremlin and White House say the new deal will be evidence of a “reset” in relations after friction in recent years.
Russia says US arms deal is close