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Medvedev: New Arms Deal with US 95 Percent Complete

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says a new arms control treaty with the United States is 95 percent complete, but that U.S. missile defense plans are still an issue.

Mr. Medvedev said Sunday he is optimistic a new deal will be reached soon.

But he called it "sly" to talk about cutting nuclear arms without talking about missile defense.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called U.S. plans for a missile defense system for Europe the main obstacle to a new arms treaty.

U.S. officials say the arms control talks would only cover strategic offensive weapons. They say defensive weapons talks would come in a separate venue.

U.S. and Russian negotiators are working on a new nuclear arms pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, which expired last month.

The talks have been in recess since a holiday break in December and are expected to resume in February.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.