US and Russia to hold missile talks

Moscow says Washington's plans to station missiles in Europe could impact its security.

    The Russians do not think the discussions would resolve the dispute quickly [EPA]
    These incentives, presented last week, include an offer to share missile warning data and co-operate in developing and testing missile defence technology with the Russians.
     
    "We outlined a series of areas where we might be able to co-operate with Russia and this involves both sharing of information and potentially of technology," said a senior administration official.
     
    "It includes things like sharing sensor data for early warning, common research and development, testing of various components of systems," said the official.
     
    But the Pentagon intends to move forward whatever the response, officials said.
     
    "We're going to continue to make this effort with Russia but we're also very clear, whether Russia co-operates with us or not is really up to Russia," a US official said on Sunday.
     
    'No interference'
     
    The US insists that existing defences need to be extended to protect against attack from Iran and North Korea and says its missile shield plans are not directed against Russia.
     
    However, critics say the US could eventually equip the sites with offensive weapons aimed at Russia.
     
    Germany has said Washington must work to ease Russian concerns, although the Czech Republic and Poland have said Moscow has no right to interfere.
     
    Igor Ivanov, secretary of Russia's security council said he held little hope the discussions would yield a quick resolution on the missile defense dispute.
     
    "We would want to hope that Washington listens to our views and concerns, although I am not much of an optimist on this issue," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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