US went 'as far as it will' in easing Russian concerns on missile defense

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October 26, 2007 06:14

 
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The Bush administration has gone almost as far as it will in accommodating Russian concerns about a US plan to extend a missile defense system into Europe, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "I think we've gone pretty far," he said in an interview Thursday with reporters on a return flight to Washington. On his European trip, he held a series of defense meetings in which missile defense and Russia's vocal opposition were chief issues. "I think we've leaned about as far forward as we can," he said. "We've offered a lot. And my view is, now I want to see some movement on their part." US offers include an arrangement that would permit Russian officials to be present at major US missile defense sites to monitor their activities. That possibly could mean a Russian presence at proposed US sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Moscow strongly objects to the European sites, arguing that they are designed for an Iranian missile threat that does not exist.

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