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U.S., Russia Reach Arms Deal

September 24, 1996| From Associated Press

NEW YORK — U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and his Russian counterpart announced a "milestone" agreement Monday clarifying the legality of certain U.S. weapons used to defend against slower-flying ballistic missiles.

"This important progress assures that we can effectively defend against theater ballistic missiles while ensuring the integrity of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," Christopher said after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny M. Primakov.

"We reached a milestone," he said.

Washington and Moscow have argued for years over identifying those antimissile defensive systems, such as the U.S. Army's Patriot air defense system, that are allowed under the 1972 ABM Treaty and those capable of shooting down long-range missiles, which are expressly limited under the treaty.

State Department official Lynn Davis said the accord clarifies the legality of a new-generation antimissile system under development by the Pentagon that is designed to shoot down missiles at far greater ranges than the Patriot is capable of.

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