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Russia-US talks on missile defence set for Paris

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Sept 6, 2007
Russian and US diplomats will meet in Paris on Monday to discuss Washington's plans for an anti-missile defence system in central Europe, a Russian foreign ministry official told AFP Thursday.

"There will be a second round of consultations on the US anti-missile shield project on September 10 in Paris," the ministry representative, Boris Malakhov, said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak will lead the Russian team, he said.

A first round of talks on the plans, which have angered Moscow, took place in late July in Washington.

They were also likely to come up during talks between US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an Asian regional summit in Sydney this weekend, the Kremlin said.

Washington says it needs to install missile defences in Poland and the Czech Republic to guard against potential threats from Iran and North Korea.

Moscow says the true aim of the system would be to aim at Russia and dent the country's offensive nuclear capability.

Moscow has suggested that the US military instead use a Russian-leased radar system already in place in the ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

Talks between Azerbaijani, Russian and US experts are expected in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on September 15.

related report
Poland says deal on US defence shield possible by year's end
An agreement to install parts of a US missile defence shield in Poland could be reached before the end of the year, Poland's deputy foreign minister said Thursday.

"We are closer," Witold Waszczykowski told reporters at the end of the first day of a new round of talks between the United States and Poland on the issue.

"I think that in two or three months those questions can be clarified, negotiated and signed."

Daniel Fried, US assistant secretary of state for European affairs, spoke of a similar timeframe during an international forum in Krynica in southern Poland.

Washington wants to site 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of an extended defence shield against airborne attacks, along with a powerful tracking radar in the Czech Republic.

Russia has strongly objected to the US plan and does not accept Washington's argument that the system is purely defensive and meant to prevent potential attacks from what the United States calls "rogue" nations, such as Iran.

Source: Agence France-Presse
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Lavrov's red line
Washington (UPI) Sept. 5, 2007
Tensions between the United States, NATO and Russia over the Bush administration's plans to deploy BMD defenses in Central Europe got a lot worse this week.







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