U.S. and Russian negotiators at the new arms control treaty, Rose Gottemoeller and Anatoly Antonov, had their first and apparently successful meeting in Rome on April 24, 2009. The first formal negotiating session will take place in Moscow on May 18-20, 2009. Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov will have a chance to discuss the negotiating positions at their meeting in Moscow on May 7. (Things should be moving fast if an outline of the new treaty is to be ready by the time of President Obama visits Moscow in July 2009.)

Meanwhile, the treaty doesn't have a name yet. START II or START III are not realistic options - we had treaties with these names. SORT has never been a good name (or a good treaty, for that matter), so I don't think SORT II is being seriously considered. Enhanced SORT or SORT Plus would be very much in line with the concept that Rose Gottemoeller and Alexei Arbatov described in Arms Control Today last year, but this doesn't fit the established naming tradition. There is nothing wrong, of course, with breaking some traditions. And since nobody is really keen on keeping the SORT treaty around, how about START Plus?