Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Friday urged the United States and Russia to immediately start negotiations on a new agreement to pledge new significant cuts in their nuclear arsenal.
"The immediate need is to start negotiations to extend the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) I agreement," said Kissinger at the three-day 45th Munich Security Conference that opened on Friday afternoon, adding that the two nuclear giants should take the lead in halting nuclear proliferation, Xinhua reported.
The START I treaty between the United States and Russia expires at the end of 2009. A START II treaty was concluded in 1993 and would have reduced U.S. and Russian arsenals to 3,500 deployed strategic warheads by 2007. But the new treaty had never entered into force largely due to disagreements over U.S. national missile defense efforts.