Russia proposes drastic nuclear arms cuts

MOSCOW JULY 6. Moscow made radical new proposals today to cut by 10,000 warheads the nuclear arsenals of five nations with the largest stockpiles - Russia, the U.S., Britain, China and France.

Under the plan outlined by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, 14,000 warheads would be reduced to 4,000 by 2009, a spokesman, Mr. Alexander Yakovenko, said.

The Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, had discussed the initiative with the French leader, Mr. Jacques Chirac, during their talks in Moscow earlier this week.

If the cuts are agreed, the five nations - all members of the U.N. Security Council - would immediately start joint consultations about strategic stability, Mr. Yakovenko said. Without naming India or Pakistan, the official said Russia hopes ``other members of the nuclear club'' would show restraint as the five nations worked together.