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Conflicts of interest dividing Moscow and Washington have overshadowed a more positive development — real progress in nuclear arms cuts between the two powers that together hold 95 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Since ’87, the United States and former Soviet countries, chiefly Russia, have signed a series of disarmament treaties, reducing nuclear arsenals by about 80 percent. The Russian and U.S. presidents recently agreed to reduce them further, by around a third. The new bilateral pact would replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires Dec. 5. As a result, the current ceiling on warheads would be lowered from 2,200 each to between 1,500 and 1,675, and the number of long-range missiles from 1,600 each to between 500 and 1,100.

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