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Russia's top military officer skeptical about further nuclear arms cuts

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    Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military's General Staff, speaks during a security conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 23, 2013. The top Russian military officer has warned the West that Moscow reserves the right to take steps in response to the U.S.-led NATO missile defense plans for Europe if it sees it as a threat. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)The Associated Press

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    Attending a security conference, with from left, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and the Kremlin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov smile as they attend a security conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Russian officials, who spoke at the conference organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, warned the West that the U.S.-led NATO's missile defense plans for Europe undermine Moscow's security.(AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)The Associated Press

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    The Kremlin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov listens during a security conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Russian officials, who spoke at the conference organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, warned the West that the U.S.-led NATO's missile defense plans for Europe undermine Moscow's security. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)The Associated Press

Russia's top military officer has voiced skepticism about deeper nuclear arms cuts, saying they should require parallel cuts in non-nuclear precision weapons.

Thursday's statement by chief of Russia's military General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, appeared to signal the Kremlin's reluctance to negotiate a new nuclear arms deal with Washington.

President Barack Obama has pledged to work with Moscow to seek further reductions in nuclear arsenals. But Russia, which has increasingly relied on its nuclear deterrent due to a relative weakness of its conventional forces, appears concerned about the U.S. edge in precision weapons.

While he did not mention the United States, Gerasimov appeared to refer to U.S. plans to fit conventional warheads to some of its long-range missiles. He said that such weapons should be part of arms control talks.