[JURIST] Russian officials said Wednesday that leaders in the country want to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) [text] with a formal, binding agreement with the US that will limit the creation of new nuclear weapons. The treaty, which signaled the end of the Cold War [BBC backgrounder], will expire in 2009.
US President George Bush's administration has said that it wants to replace the treaty with an informal agreement that does not include the strict verification requirements of the current treaty. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian leaders are disappointed with US proposals [RIA Novosti report], and that an informal agreement would be a "failure." AP has more. Kommersant has additional coverage.