Russia: 'US not kept missile shield promise'

Russia complained on Wednesday that the United States had not kept a promise to deliver written proposals on its missile defense plan after ministerial talks ended without agreement.

Russia: 'US not kept missile shield promise'
Following the talks between foreign and defense ministers of both countries in Moscow on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pledged at a news conference to deliver the proposals in writing hours later.

"In spite of promises yesterday, written proposals from the American side have not yet been received by us," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said on Wednesday.

A U.S embassy spokeswoman on Wednesday said she had "no information" on the issue. Gates and Rice left Moscow on Wednesday morning and their officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The United States wants to install parts of the shield in former Soviet satellites Poland and the Czech Republic to protect against missiles from what it terms "rogue states" but Russia opposes the plan, saying it will threaten its security.

Russia complained late last year that a previous oral suggestion from the United States on how to allay Moscow's concerns on the shield had not been followed up in writing.

Gates committed the U.S. side on Tuesday to putting down on paper its suggestions on confidence-building measures.

"The full range of what we are prepared to offer and discuss with the Russians is just now being put down on paper and the Russian side will not receive this in writing until this evening," said Gates at a media briefing in Moscow on Tuesday afternoon.

The two sides failed to agree on the missile defense shield, one of the key issues dividing them, at the talks on Tuesday. Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serkyukov said that "on the matter of principle, the positions of our two sides have not changed."


Agencies
Last Mod: 19 Mart 2008, 16:15
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