Russia ready for missile shield talks with U.S.

Moscow is ready for dialogue on the latest U.S. proposals for a missile shield in Europe, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said during a radio interview on Monday.The United States submitted a package of documents to Russia last week setting out compromise proposals on its missile shield, part of which it wants to locate in eastern Europe.

“The American side has sent us a letter with proposals on the missile defense shield,” Ivanov told the Russian News Service radio station.

“We are ready for dialogue, but at the same time we are guided, of course, by our own national interests and if our partner places new military capabilities less than 200 kilometers (120 miles) from our borders at the Kaliningrad region, we have to think about it.”

Ivanov’s comment was more upbeat than earlier Russian reaction to the proposals.

Last week the Russian foreign ministry said it was disappointed by the proposals — first laid out when U.S. Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice visited Moscow in October.

Washington wants to station interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic as part of a shield it says is designed to protect Europe from “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

But the plans have angered Moscow which says it is the shield’s real target. The Kremlin has called the U.S. plan a threat to its national security.

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