Apr 24,2007 00:00
MOSCOW - Senior Russian officials in Moscow gave U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates a chilly response to his offer to include them in European missile defense systems.
Gates met with Russia's new defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, on Monday with an aim to try to dispel Russian concerns about planned missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic based on fears of attacks by Iran.
"We would like to have the Russians as partners in this process," Gates told reporters. "We would like to share information with them. We are prepared to co-locate radars with them."
However, Serdyukov rebuffed Gates, the International Herald Tribune reported.
"The Russian position with respect to this issue remains unchanged," Serdyukov told reporters. "We do believe that deploying all the strategic elements of the ballistic missile defenses is a destabilizing factor that may have a great impact upon global and regional security."
Afterward, Gates said he still sensed progress and said he believed Serdyukov's response had been prepared before the meeting.
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