US, Russia Agree to Slash Nuclear Arms; Landmark Treaty Ends Cold War.(Main News)
Byline: DMITRY ZAKS
MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) ? United States (US) President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a landmark disarmament treaty Friday and opened a new era in relations that the US leader said would lead to ?incredible cooperation.?
The Treaty of Moscow commits Russia and the United States to slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads over the next decade.
"I am confident that this sets the stage for incredible cooperation that we've never had before between our two countries," Bush said after signing the treaty in an ornate hall of the Kremlin.
Bush and Putin signed a new strategic partnership accord, ending the two countries' Cold War era rivalry and shaping a new relationship for the 21st century.
The United States and Russia have entered a "new era" of friendship, Bush told Putin, who spoke of an "absolutely new quality" in Russia's partnership with the United States at their Kremlin summit meeting.
The pledges of friendship came even as a row over Russia's nuclear links with Iran threatened to dampen the feelgood atmosphere of the summit.
Bush said the two sides had succeeded in "casting aside old doubts and old suspicions" dating from the Cold War.
"Today, we are speaking about an absolutely new quality of our relationship, regarding questions of security, reducing our strategic potentials, and creating a new secure world," Putin added.
The fifth meeting between Bush and Putin on Friday will also see the two leaders clinch a new strategic partnership accord, effectively putting an end to the mutual suspicion of the Cold War era.
However, a long-running dispute over Moscow's ties with Iran which Bush maintains is part of an "axis of evil" clouded the opening of the summit after the US leader warned Thursday that Russia was contributing to nuclear proliferation.
Bush and Putin discussed other major issues that pose a tough test of the evolving US-Russian relationship.
Russia is eager to secure US support for joining the World Trade Organization, attract greater US investments, and cooperate with Washington to export Caspian Sea oil. …