Russia, US in deadlock over missile shieldJuly 7th, 2008 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS
Toyako (Japan), July 7 (RIA Novosti) Russia has told the US that Washington’s plan to set up a missile base in Lithuania would be “absolutely unacceptable” to Moscow. The Russian view was conveyed by President Dmitry Medvedev to his US counterpart George W. Bush when they met ahead of the opening of the three-day summit meeting Monday of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised economies in this Japanese resort town in the northern island of Hokkaido.
Presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said Medvedev told Bush during their one-on-one meeting that the idea of creating a missile base in post-Soviet Lithuania as an alternative to plans for Poland would be “absolutely unacceptable” to Russia.
“Dmitry Medvedev expressed his serious concern over reports periodically appearing in the media on negotiations with Lithuania on deploying missile interceptors in the country,” Prikhodko told reporters.
The presidential spokesman noted that the discussions on missile defence had produced “no real progress”, but said “working-level contacts on this problem are ongoing”.
Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the US of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security and nuclear deterrence. Washington says the defences are needed to deter possible strikes from “rogue states.”
The leaders of G8 nations, comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US, have assembled here for the group’s annual three-day summit meeting during which they would discuss climate change, recession in world economy, global security and African economic development.