Russia slams U.S. written proposals on missile shield, Conventional Forces in Europe

23/11/2007 22:06 MOSCOW, November 23 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has gone back on previous initiatives concerning its missile shield in Europe in a written proposal earlier received by Russia, a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Russia’s foreign and defense ministers held talks on October 12 with their U.S. counterparts in Moscow, at which the U.S. side made ‘counter proposals’ in a bid to allay Russia’s concerns over Washington’s missile shield plans in Europe, including inviting Russian experts to inspect mooted missile defense sites.

“This time [in written proposals], there is no mention of a joint assessment of threats, the presence of Russian experts at U.S. missile defense sites in Europe. The document does not confirm U.S. willingness not to activate the [missile] shield if there is no real threat,” the source said.

The United States plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. Moscow views the plans as a threat to its national security.

“Everything is so vague that it is hard to discern previous initiatives in the document,” the source said.

He also said Moscow was disappointed with the new U.S. proposals on the future of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which is another issue of discord between Russia and the West.

“We do not see any significant progress [in the written U.S. proposal] on issues raised by Russia concerning the CFE treaty,” the source said.

Both houses of the Russian parliament have unanimously supported President Putin’s initiative to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE treaty, which the Kremlin calls discriminatory. The measure becomes effective on December 12.

Russia insists it will consider resuming its participation in the CFE treaty only if other signatories fulfilled their obligations under the arms control accord.

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