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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Start III Talks Begin in Moscow

U.S. specialists began talks Tuesday in Moscow on the START III strategic arms reduction treaty, and officials in Washington expressed hope that its predecessor, START II, would be ratified by the Russian State Duma in coming weeks.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the team led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott would follow through on agreements signed in New York last month to facilitate Russian ratification of START II.

"We have said that START III talks would begin after START II goes into effect, but there are already expert talks going on and there is a team in Russia right now following through on these decisions," Albright said at a Senate hearing on NATO enlargement.

Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and Albright signed agreements last month on an adaptation of the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty that limits the use of anti-missile weapons. That accord and a second agreement to push back to 2007 a deadline for the arms cuts to be made under START II, gives Russia the latitude needed to win Duma ratification, Albright predicted.