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Bush Hopes to Sign Disarmament Agreement During Moscow Visit

President Bush says he hopes to sign a disarmament agreement with Russia when he visits the country in May. The two nations are negotiating a deal to replace the 1972 Anti-Ballistic missile treaty.

President Bush says the Cold War treaty is outdated and prevents the United States from developing technology to guard against missile attack. He is negotiating a new arrangement that has both sides reducing nuclear warheads to about two-thousand a piece. Mr. Bush says that deal might be ready to sign when he visits Russia in May.

"I would like to sign a document in Russia when I am there," he said. "I think it would be a good thing."

Disagreements remain over whether weapons taken out of commission should be stored or destroyed. Mr. Bush says he is willing to discuss that issue along with the need for verification.

"I think the most important thing, though, is verification, is to make sure that whatever decision is made that there is open verification so as to develop a level of trust," he said.

Russian defense chief Serge Ivanov is in Washington for talks on the missile deal. He met with President Bush Tuesday.