In the run-up to US President Barack Obama’s visit to Russia the two heads of state had a circumstantial telephone conversation to discuss in detail practically all items on the agenda and programme of their meeting in Moscow, the Kremlin press service reported on Tuesday.

In particular, they gave considerable attention to the issue of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Various aspects of the START problems were considered by Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama with taking into account the positions which the negotiating teams of the two countries approached by the present day.

The two presidents agreed to orient the Russian and US negotiators towards the intensification of the work with the aim of achieving concrete results.

The press service of the Russian head of state noted that both sides “expressed confidence that the forthcoming summit will make it possible to impart more dynamism to the bilateral relations and make their atmosphere more creative and to get to know each other better.”

START is a treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The treaty was signed by the United States and the USSR, that barred its signatories from deploying more than 6,000 nuclear warheads atop a total of 1,600 ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers. START negotiated the largest and most complex arms control treaty in history, and its final implementation in late 2001 resulted in the removal of about 80% of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence. Proposed by United States’ President Ronald Reagan, it was renamed START I after negotiations began on the second START treaty, which became START II.

It was signed on July 31, 1991, five months before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Entry-into-force was delayed due to the collapse of the USSR and awaiting an Annex that enforced the terms of the treaty upon the newly independent states of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. The latter three agreed to transport their nuclear arms to Russia for disposal.