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Russia is strongly opposed to any change in the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and if the United States decides to withdraw there could be serious consequences, a Russian general said Tuesday as a top U.S. diplomat arrived for talks.

If the United States pulls out of the 1972 treaty, "it would destroy the whole system of restricting strategic arms," Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

Ivashov, head of the Defense Ministry's International Military Cooperation Board, said, "We believe that the 1972 ABM treaty is doing its job of curbing the strategic nuclear arms race."

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott arrived in Moscow for talks Tuesday.

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