Bush heading to Russia for talks on missile defence

US Bush will travel to Russia to meet with outgoing President Putin for discussion on missile defence after attending the NATO summit April 2-4 in Bucharest, the White House said Wednesday.

Bush heading to Russia for talks on missile defence
US President George W Bush will travel to Russia to meet with outgoing President Vladimir Putin for discussion on missile defence after attending the NATO summit April 2-4 in Bucharest, the White House said Wednesday.

"The main issue there is to find a way, in concrete terms, to reassure Russia that the radar and missile installation that is planned in Poland and the Czech Republic ... are not aimed at Russia," national security adviser Stephen Hadley said.

Bush will propose developing a common missile defence system for Europe with the participation of NATO countries and Russia, he said.

Bush departs Monday for Ukraine before flying to Romania for the NATO gathering. He will then stop in Croatia before continuing to the meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia, which was named last year to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The US plans - to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic - have angered Putin and prompted Moscow to warn that the sites could be targeted. The dispute has contributed to the lowest point in relations between the two countries since the end of the Cold War.

Russian officials were in Washington Wednesday for talks with their US counterparts on the missile defence issue. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates flew earlier this month to Moscow.


Agencies
Last Mod: 27 Mart 2008, 11:30
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