From the Cable: Russia had been stalling the last stage of the negotiations over the issue, holding fast to its position that missile defense must be included in some way in the new treaty. The U.S. side has insisted the treaty be confined only to offensive systems. Meanwhile, the old agreement, known as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), expired last December and U.S. President Barack Obama has been pushing to complete the new deal before some 44 world leaders come to Washington for a major nuclear conference beginning April 12.
Washington was abuzz Wednesday after the New York Times reported there had been a "breakthrough" in the talks, but the Times never disclosed what the breakthrough was. The Cable got the details in an exclusive interview with Senate Foreign Relations ranking Republican Richard Lugar, R-IN, who met with Obama along with committee chairman John Kerry, D-MA, Wednesday morning.
"Missile defense will not be part of the treaty, but in the preamble both parties will state their positions and there will be a mention of offense and defense and the importance of those," Lugar said. He added that because the missile-defense statements were outside the main text, "they are in essence editorial opinions." (photo: Nils Bohmer/Bellona)