The Russians must show they are not pursuing a "sham game" to thwart US efforts to establish missile defense sites in Europe, but the two sides may be closer to agreement for cooperation on the planned shield, US officials said Monday.
Speaking to reporters en route to the Russian capital from Washington, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saw some prospect of progress on long-stalled negotiations over US proposals to establish missile defense sites in central Europe. But he did not sound particularly optimistic.
"I wouldn't get too enthusiastic at this point," he said.
Setting a tough tone even before arriving, Gates questioned the sincerity of the Russian government's objections to missile defense. "My view is we've put a lot on the table" in recent negotiations, Gates said. "Now it's time for them to reciprocate."