Speaking at Helsinki University yesterday, President Medvedev outlined some of the things that Russia would like to see in the new arms control agreement. Nothing in the list is really new - Sergei Lavrov listed all the conditions about a month ago - but they are still worth repeating: reductions to the levels lower than those in the Moscow treaty (the number that's been mentioned earlier is 1500 warheads), limits on delivery systems, and a ban on deployment of strategic weapons outside national territories.

Medvedev also listed some general conditions that should be included in further discussions of nuclear disarmament - a ban on deployment of weapons in space, a limit or a ban on conversion of strategic delivery systems to conventional missions, and a limit on the so-called "upload potential".

Finally, he mentioned the link between offensive and defensive weapons saying that unilateral deployment of missile defense would seriously complicate nuclear disarmament and adding that "there is a reason why some experts believe that the ABM treaty should be revived". At the same time, he seemed to suggest that missile defense would be okay if Russia would take part in its development.

I would say the list looks reasonably reasonable (not that there is any chance of bringing the ABM treaty back to life), although it does not seem to be well thought out. At the same time, the first three items on the list, which seem to be the actual conditions for the new treaty, seem perfectly doable (even if the resulting treaty would be rather weak). Besides, there is still a chance that the parties will decide to extend the START treaty - at least Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. negotiator, seems to be open to this possibility:

You know, if things aren’t going well, you can’t rush to the finish just to get something done. And I want to make it clear that from the perspective of the United States, we will do what we have to do to get this negotiation done, but [...] if necessary, we will look for ways to find more time for the negotiators. So just bear that in mind as well.