U.S. offers Moscow concession on missile shield

The United States is ready to look at re-modeling its missile defense plans to include Moscow, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Friday in a concession to Russian opposition.

The Kremlin has been pressing Washington to give ground on the proposed missile shield in exchange for Russia helping supply the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan — a priority for new President Barack Obama.

Washington and Moscow have in the past discussed a compromise deal that would give Russia a role in the U.S. shield but those talks petered out in the last days of the previous U.S. administration.

By James Kilner and Christian Lowe
Reuters

“(Washington is) open to the possibility of cooperation, both with Russia and NATO partners, in relation to a new configuration for missile defense which would use the resources that each of us have,” Interfax news agency quoted U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns as saying.

The U.S. embassy in Moscow confirmed the text of the interview. Burns, a former ambassador to Moscow, was in Russia this week for talks with officials.

Burns gave no details on what form the new missile defense configuration might take, but the wording he used appeared to go further than previous U.S. proposals aimed at easing Russia’s concerns.

Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told Reuters in an interview that Moscow would have to wait to see how Washington follows up on Burns’ remarks.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090213
/ts_nm/us_usa_shield_russia

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