Russia, US to talk missile shield next week in Moscow

March 13th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Dakar (Senegal), March 13 (RIA Novosti) Russian and US officials will meet in Moscow next week to discuss Washington’s plan to deploy elements of missile shield in Central Europe, an official of the Russian foreign ministry said here Thursday. The meeting to be held March 17-18 would also focus on Russia’s unilateral moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty and on a new strategic arms reduction treaty to replace START-I, which expires in December 2009, the top ranking official said.

“Our American partners will deliver proposals on confidence measures, allowing the presence of Russian officers at missile shield facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland, blocking the radar to prevent it being targeted at Russia and so that the interceptor missiles are not silo-based,” the official said.

The US is planning to construct a base for 10 two-stage missile interceptors in Poland, modify its X-band radar on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific and relocate it to the Czech Republic, and to deploy a new forward-based radar to an unspecified location.

The official said, “These are measures of transparency and trust,” but added that they are “not resolving the issue of creating a system to monitor missile threats throughout the world.”

“But it still gives us [Russia] the opportunity to see that the US’ unilateral actions, which Russia objects to, do not pose a direct threat to our country at the given moment,” he said.

Washington wants to deploy its missile shield elements in Central Europe, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other “rogue” states. Russia has fiercely opposed the plans, saying they threaten its national security.
RIA Novosti

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