US-Russia preliminary disarmament talks "constructive"

US-Russia preliminary disarmament talks "constructive" Rome - The United States and Russia on Friday characterized their first preliminary talks on strategic arms reduction as "constructive" and "very productive."

The talks between US and Russian diplomats are to prepare the ground for a meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on May 7.

Earlier in April US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed during a meeting in London to commit to draw up a new deal on nuclear disarmament to replace the US-Russian strategic weapons reduction programme (START) which expires at the end of 2009. (dpa)