Russia Arms Treaty "Close"

President Barack Obama said Friday that the U.S. and Russia were "quite close' to agreeing on a successor to an expired nuclear arms control treaty.Mr. Obama had wanted a new deal in place before the end of the year, but that appeared unlikely.

Emerging from private talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference, Mr. Obama expressed confidence that a successor pact will be agreed to in a "timely fashion." Medvedev said technical details still needed to be worked out.

Both leaders made only brief statements to reporters and took no questions. Neither one said anything about a possible timetable for signing a deal.

"We've been making excellent progress," Mr. Obama said. "We are quite close to an agreement. And I'm confident that it will be completed in a timely fashion."