'Russia's willingness to discuss missile defence is welcomed'
The US is encouraged by Russia's willingness to discuss missile defence system, confirms White House spokesman.world Updated: Jun 11, 2007 11:41 IST
The US is encouraged by Russia's willingness to discuss missile defence system, White House spokesman Tony Snow has said.
"Frankly, we are encouraged by the fact that the Russians now are talking about figuring out a way to provide a missile shield that will discourage rogue regimes from loading nukes onto missiles and aiming them," Snow said Sunday.
The Bush administration has been defending its planned missile defence shield, which, it says, is intended to protect against a potential Iranian threat.
Speaking after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a freeze to the US shield foreseen for eastern Europe, Snow noted "deployment is something that's not going to take place for a while. What we're talking about is the best way to protect Europe."
Moscow is angered at the US plan to deploy missile interceptors in Poland and radar units in the Czech Republic as part of a project to extend the missile defence system in Europe.
Washington insists that the deployment of the system is aimed at preventing attacks from rogue states, not Russia.
Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin focused on the issue during their meeting last week at the Group of Eight summit. They will come up again when Putin visits the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, on July 1-2.